CHAOZHOU: THE Johor government’s effort to foster stronger ties with city councils in China is expected to bring in more Chinese investors and tourists to the state.
Johor Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said the state government would be assisting city councils in Johor to strengthen ties with their counterparts here.
“The Johor Baru City Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Choazhou City Council. The Quanzhou City Council has also expressed hopes to work with us to boost tourism, trade and cultural activities in both countries.
“We already have a mutual understanding with our counterparts here including with the district of Shantou since 2011,” he told reporters during a work visit to China with several Malaysian delegates.
Tee also encouraged businesses and investors in Johor to take advantage of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative through smart partnerships with investors from the republic.
“Our efforts to boost foreign investments in the state is in line with Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin aspiration to make Johor the economy powerhouse of the country,” he said.
Tee added that he was confident of more Chinese investors coming to Johor especially with the worldwide recognition of halal-certification of goods here.
“The 21.1 billion Muslim market will be a pulling factor for the Chinese to carry out their operations here where halal-certification is recognised.
“We can provide assistance to local business entities that wish to work with investors from China for mutual benefit,” he added.
Tee said the common cultures between the two countries have helped strengthened bilateral ties and foster a better understanding between the communities.
Citing Johor’s 24 Festive Drum performance as an example, Tee said that the art had spread among the Chaozhou community in the Fujian province over the last few years.
“The Chinese community in Malaysia has maintained their identity and strengthened their heritage even better than other Chinese communities in countries in South East Asia.
Dong Feng High School was the first school to form a 24 Festive Drum team in China alongside four other teams from a television station, a temple, a factory and a kindergarten.
“We have to continue working hard towards spreading the 24 Festive Drum culture throughout China and come up with more collaborations culturally and in other aspects in future,” said Tee.