KUALA LUMPUR: MCA’s newly launched Belt and Road 2.0 will serve as a centre to assist the formation of stronger bilateral ties between Malaysia and China in many different areas, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The MCA president said the initiative encompasses various projects such as in the fields of business, investments, education, training and brainstorming sessions.
“MCA is the first political party from abroad to respond positively to the initiative mooted by China.
“For MCA Belt and Road 1.0, we laid the foundation for infrastructure and got the support of the Chinese community and businessmen.
“Due to the good response, we are pushing for 2.0. With the new Chinese leadership, there is stronger commitment to buy more products from Belt and Road countries,” he said during the launch in Wisma MCA yesterday.
Also present were Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian, MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Hou Kok Chung and MCA Belt and Road Centre chairman Datuk Seri Chuah Poh Khiang.
MCA Belt and Road 2.0 is built on five strategies – business transformation and young startups, SME Go-Global, trade and investment promotion platforms, Belt and Road policy coordination platforms, and education and training.
Liow said bilateral trade between the two nations amounted to RM264.62bil in the first 11 months of last year, which accounts for 16.3% of Malaysia’s total trade.
“We need to seize these opportunities,” he said.
In his speech, Bai said participating countries of the Belt and Road initiative would head towards the direction of shared development, progress, safety and prosperity.
He added that Malaysia and China have always enjoyed good bilateral ties and that the initiative would benefit Malaysians.
“Some 70% of Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd staff are Malaysians and over 100,000 people have gone through their global training centre in Malaysia .
“About 83% of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp (M) Sdn Bhd staff are locals.
“They have trained more than 200 Malaysian staff and another 100 employees will be sent to China for training,” he said.
Bai also pointed out that 54% of materials used by China State Construction Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd for the Tun Razak Exchange project are locally sourced and 40% of the management staff are also locals.
“Malaysia and other participating countries stand to benefit from trade exceeding US$210bil (RM819bil), a figure which will keep increasing,” he said in lauding MCA’s efforts in promoting the initiative.
On a separate issue, Liow rebutted Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over his criticism of the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) by implying that the country’s sovereign rights have been given up to China.
“The MCKIP is a form of Chinese investment in Malaysia, similar to the China-Malaysia Qingzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP), which the Government has invested in China.
“There is also a Kuantan Street in the CMQIP, and top officials from Kuantan will open the street this month,” he said, while urging the former premier not to disrupt the good relations between the two nations.
Liow was referring to a video of Dr Mahathir, pointing to a street named Qingzhou Street in MCKIP, saying the land has been sold to China.