JOHOR BARU: The Johor Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants Iskandar Puteri to be made a sister city with China’s Shenzhen to maximise its development potential.
Association president Tan Sri Tan Seng Leong said visiting officials and business groups from China have made such suggestions as well, signalling their increased interest to conduct business in Iskandar Puteri, within the Iskandar Malaysia region.
He said because of the Belt and Road initiative introduced by China, many investor groups have visited Malaysia.
Tan, who is also the national Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president, said he had received about eight to 10 business groups from China each month.
Each group was usually made up of about 30 delegates, he said, adding that he had received about 3,000 businessmen and investors from China last year.
He said the investors were impressed during their visit here as Malaysia was one of the countries to have the closest ties with China among the 64 countries worldwide under the Belt and Road initiative.
“We are selling opportunities available here and the investors are very keen as some have made repeated trips back here just to study and do research on the local market,” he said.
Tan said the interest was not only in the property market as investors are looking at the manufacturing sector as well.
“If we are able to establish a sister city connection with a developed city such as Shenzhen, it can smoothen and provide more convenience for trade.
“Some of the investors were actually surprised when they visited our country because we are friendly people and have ample natural resources,” he said.
He added that he would propose to the Johor government to establish sister city ties with Shenzhen while his Chinese counterparts would also bring the matter to their government to consider.
“Looking at the developed state of Shenzhen, we can greatly benefit from such ties economically and in terms of infrastructure development,” added Tan.