Malaysia eyes Chinese investors for its sea ports

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is working to attract Chinese investors to its sea ports, particularly those that need to be developed into international ports.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said this was part of Malaysia’s preparation for China’s One Belt One Road initiative, a development strategy and framework focusing on connectivity and cooperation between European and Asian countries.

“Malaysia fully supports Chinese President Xi Jinping in this initiative. We would like to see their proposal on how we can benefit.

“We already see this as an important initiative to benefit the world, and Asean in particular,” he said at an energy, resources and sustainable development conference here yesterday.

The One Belt One Road initiative has two main components – the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the ocean-based Maritime Silk Road – both of which are aimed at fostering collaboration between Asian and European countries.

In his speech, Liow said Malaysia had looked into how it should prepare itself and also how to attract Chinese investors to Malaysia through the initiative.

“I’m talking about ports, railways and even the aviation sector, but most importantly our focus is on sea ports.

“We have Tanjung Pelepas and Port Klang, which are mature international ports, but we have others that need more investment, like the Malacca port, and I welcome China to come to Malacca.”

Liow noted that Malacca needed expansion and much initiative to become an international port, and cited an example of how China’s support for the Kuantan port had helped develop it.

Plans are afoot for a railway connecting the port to the Kuantan industrial park, Kuantan town, all the way up to Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang.

“Even in the railway sector, we are doing well, with the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail and the double tracks from Padang Besar to Johor Baru.

“The double tracks from Padang Besar to Kuala Lumpur is done, along with Kuala Lumpur to Gemas. As for Gemas to Johor Baru, we have awarded the contract and hope the project can be completed in two years,” he said.

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