KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should tap the investment capabilities of the global Chinese diaspora community that is found in 90 countries worldwide as a new source of foreign direct investments (FDIs), says Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, the chairman of the World Chinese Economic Summit as well as chief executive officer of the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute.
He said Malaysia should not only be focused on attracting Chinese investments from Greater China, but should also now diversify its attention on the global Chinese diaspora community, which has significant investment capabilities and wealth that could contribute to the country’s economy.
“Malaysia should be spending a lot more time and effort in attracting the global Chinese diaspora to come and invest in Malaysia,” Yeoh said.
In his speech at the media launch of the 8th WCES here yesterday, Yeoh pointed out that the overseas Chinese community had accounted for 60% of the total FDI in China.
The annual WCES event would be expected to promote closer linkages between the global economic community and China, South-East Asia and the global Chinese diaspora. This year’s WCES event, which will be held on Nov 16 and 17 in Malacca, will focus on promoting the China’s Belt and Road initiative. Star Media Group Bhd is one of the media partners of the WCES.
Themed “China-Asean: Realising Opportunities, Strengthening Partnerships”, the 8th WCES would discuss key challenges and investment opportunities in China and Asean, as well as economic linkages and regional coordination between China, Australia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
It would feature more than 200 policymakers, entrepreneurs, researchers and thought leaders from around the world.
Among the speakers are former president of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono; former leader of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou; former deputy prime minister of Thailand Professor Dr Surakiart Sathirathai; former prime minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz; former prime minister of Australia Kevin Rudd; and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor KC Chan.
Local leaders include Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong; Plantation and Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong; International Trade and Industry Second Minister Datuk Sri Ong Ka Chuan; Malacca chief minister Datuk Sri Idris Haron; and Malacca Yang di Pertua Negeri Tun Datuk Seri Utama Mohd Khalil Yaakob.
In stressing the importance of the annual WCES, Wee said it is platform for business, trading partners and government organisations to forge new relationships.
“China’s economic role as the world’s second biggest economy means the international business community must strengthen their mechanisms and capacities to ensure that all countries can benefit from close cooperation,” Wee said.
Wee pointed out that the recent visit to China led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak had resulted in a total of 16 government-to-government memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and more than 15 business-to-business MoUs signed. These collaborations were worth a total of RM144bil.
The most significant project signed was the RM55bil East Coast Rail Line, which would span four Malaysian states. China would build and provide financing for the rail project.
“This is significant in terms of bilateral ties,” Wee said in reference to the MoUs signed between Malaysia and China.
“It will strike a balance between Malaysia and China in terms of FDI,” he explained, noting that Malaysia was the one more aggressive in investing in China in the past, and now it had become one of China’s commitment to help Malaysia.