KUALA LUMPUR: vMalaysia's location in the centre of Southeast Asia and the country's position in holding the Straits of Melaka is a incomparable advantage in the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Under China's economic initiative, "One Belt, One Road", the Chinese government planned to increase its involvement in Southeast Asia via its investment in the infrastructure and linkages associated with the region.
"Therefore, Malaysia should leverage on its strengths to play a vital role in support of China's economic initiative, as well as, benefit from the opportunities created by the latter," said HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mukhtar Hussain.
He said Malaysia can play a strategic role in making Asean a key part of China's initiative and the Asian infrastructure investment bank set up, by tapping on the country's chairmanship of Asean and taking note of China's interests in partnering with Asean.
"Chinese entrepreneurs can make use of Malaysia's strength of "Going Global" strategy and use Malaysia as a getaway for China to Asean Economic Community, discover more business opportunities and create a win-win situation," Mukhtar added in a statement.
Last year, trade between the two countries stood at US$102bil and Malaysia remained China's largest Asean trading partner for six consecutive years since 2008, it said.
Malaysian and Chinese governments signed a five-year plan to strive for US$160bil by 2017, by expanding trade, investment, tourism, education, financial and infrastructure.
China is expected to open up Asean route of the Trans-Asian Railway, in order to link up Southeast Asia countries as well as allow goods to be sent in both directions: east to Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia and other places; west to reach Central Asia, the statement added. - Bernama