GANNAN (Gansu, China): Johor sees immense benefits from China's One Belt One Road initiative and will continue to attract Chinese investors and tourists, said Johor tourism, trade and consumerism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong.
He said Johor’s close proximity to Singapore was an added advantage to promote the state to Chinese people.
He said the presence of three Chinese property developers with multi-billion ringgit development projects in Iskandar Malaysia was testimony of their confidence in Iskandar Malaysia.
Tee said Malaysia’s first growth economic region had attracted about RM220bil cumulative committed investments since its inception on Nov 4, 2006.
“Indirectly, the three major Chinese property developers helped to promote Johor, in particular Iskandar Malaysia in China,” he said.
He was referring to Country Garden Group, Greenland Group and R&F Properties with on-going waterfront development projects in Iskandar Malaysia.
Tee said this in Urumuqi in the Xinjiang autonomous region and Gangsu, a Tibetan autonomous region in China.
He is leading a 11-men tourism and trade delegation here from Aug 17 to 23.
Xinjiang region located on the northwest of China has a population of 25 million, of which 60% are Muslims, while Gansu on the northwest of China has 23 million people, comprising many Muslims.
“We see potential in attracting halal food manufacturers from the two autonomous regions as they can use Johor as a gateway to penetrate the Southeast Asia market,” he said.
Tee said in order for the China-based halal food manufacturers to export their products not only to the Asean market but beyond, they need to have a standardised halal certification.
He said Johor is willing to offer its assistance to the Chinese halal food manufacturers to obtain the halal certification from the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim).
“Our halal certification by Jakim is accepted worldwide and halal food products are not only strictly for Muslim consumers but suitable for all,” said Tee.
He said Johor’s strategic location along the world’s busiest shipping lane would offer Chinese exporters connectivity to export their products.
Tee said Johor’s closest neighbour Singapore, an international trade and financial centre, also offered an advantage to Chinese investors to invest in Johor.
He said of the two million Chinese tourists who had visited Malaysia in 2016, half of them had come to Johor and that this year, some 1.5 million Chinese tourists from the targeted three million Chinese tourists expected to visit Malaysia would also visit Johor.
“Apart from shopping, Chinese tourists also like beaches, islands and theme parks and Johor has all these to offer them,” said Tee.