Malaysia ideal for setting up manufacturing bases: Rafidah

  • Business
  • Tuesday, 29 Jul 2003

The 7th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention: STORIES BY PAULINE S.c. NG, P.W. THONG, HONG BOON HOW AND KATHY FONG

INTERNATIONAL Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz has called upon Chinese entrepreneurs to convey a true picture of Malaysia's investment climate to potential businessmen back home. 

Rafidah said the Malaysia was a stable country with good infrastructure and skilled workers would be an advantage for foreign companies to set up manufacturing bases. 

“While our investor friendly policies had enabled more than 1,000 foreign companies to set up operations in our country, those who have set up bases normally progressed to expand their businesses here,” Rafidah pointed out. 

She said the delegates should note that while Malaysia was an Islamic country, it was incorrect to associate Islamic countries as havens for terrorists. 

She also said that the government's policy was to ensure that all races in the country were able to participate fairly in the country's economic activities. 

“To us, every community has a role to play in our economic development and no one should be sidelined,” she said.  

Rafidah also stressed that Malaysia was able to justify its action to impose financial and currency controls during the height of the economic crisis in 1998. 

“We were able to come out from the crisis stronger as we were able to stand on our own and gained new experience in doing things,” she said. 

According to Rafidah, that detractors of Malaysia's policies are merely “armchair” critics who had no actual experience in running countries. 

In her speech, Rafidah said early Chinese immigrants to Malaysia reflected the outflow of Chinese from their homeland into various parts of the world, motivated by new economic and business opportunities in these new places. 

“Today, the existence of economically vibrant Chinatowns from Vancouver to New York to the cities of Australia is symbolic of the global Chinese economic and business presence in a diverse range of activities,” she added. 

She said Chinese businessmen had already taken the first generation of investments abroad long before the concept of foreign direct investments became familiar. 

Rafidah said the emergence of China as a rapid growing economic power and business hub would have aroused the interest of the entrepreneurs of Chinese origin all over the world. 

“If it is not likely that this interest is spurred by emotional stirrings for the original motherland, but rather the business potential that China provides,” she said, adding that China with its vast consumer market and low-cost production facilities was too good an opportunity to pass up.  

Rafidah also urged local Chinese entrepreneurs to undertake synergistic collaboration with global Chinese network to explore business opportunities in China. 


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