KAJANG: The "Belt and Road Entrepreneurs Auditorium", a series of business networking forums to discuss opportunities for China's Belt and Road initiative, officially kicked off Saturday at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman's (Utar) Sungai Long campus.
The first forum, titled the "Belt and Road Business Forum and Symposium 2018", which runs from Saturday to Sunday (Jan 7), was launched by Utar council member Senator Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung, together with MCA Belt and Road Centre (Mbrace) chairman Datuk Seri Chuah Poh Khiang.
In his opening remarks, Dr Hou noted that Malaysia had experienced significant economic growth in 2017, with total trade for the first 10 months amounting to RM1.465 trillion, an increase of 21.5% compared with the same period in 2016.
Dr Hou added that Malaysia had also recorded a trade surplus of RM80.15bil in the same 10 months, which was driven mainly by trade partners in the South-East Asian region, China, the United States, Japan and the European Union.
Utar President Professor Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik said the symposium afforded local companies insight and a better understanding on how they could benefit from China's investment policies and vice versa.
He also noted that Utar had been organising various talks and dialogue sessions on the Belt and Road Initiative since 2016, including study visits between both countries to collaborate on projects.
The event also saw the launch of the forum series' magazine, also titled "Belt and Road Entrepreneurs Auditorium".
A bi-monthly publication, "Auditorium" is aimed at providing insight for businesses looking to break into the Malaysia-China market.