TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad had a productive outing here, especially in restoring the confidence of Chinese investors who were unsure of the direction of bilateral ties after the change of government following the 14th General Election.
The Malaysian leader took time off his busy schedule to meet with them, listen to their problems and answer their doubts.
The plan for a one-stop centre that enables foreign investors to get all papers done at one place underscores the Prime Minister’s commitment to welcome their investments in Malaysia.
“We will fill it with people who can make decisions; if it is manned by junior officers who have to always refer to their bosses, then all will just sit and wait only.
“I believe with this service, investments will come pouring in,” he told the Malaysian media before leaving for home after a five-day working trip to the Chinese capital that began last Wednesday.
During his second trip to China as Malaysia’s seventh Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir held successful bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, apart from attending the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
The following day, Dr Mahathir – who had been scheduled to speak at a high-level meeting of the forum – was among a handful of foreign leaders accorded the honour of addressing the audience after Xi’s opening speech.
Dr Mahathir gave his backing to China’s cherished Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) while calling for freedom of navigation along the trade routes.
His endorsement further improved ties between both nations after the government’s recent announcements to revive big-ticket China-linked projects such as the East Coast Rail Link and Bandar Malaysia, which were suspended last year.
While in Beijing, Dr Mahathir also visited two high-technology companies, namely Huawei, the world’s biggest telco equipment maker, and SenseTime.
The latter inked an agreement with a Malaysian company to develop the country’s first artificial intelligence park.
At Huawei, he was shown the latest applications of the company, including its 5G technology.
Testing out the gadgets, Dr Mahathir was excited about the innovations.
“I myself don’t understand (this field) and sometimes am confused (by it) but what’s clear is that they have the technology,” he said at the press conference to wrap up his trip on Sunday.
“I spoke to three groups in Malaysia as though we were in the same room.
“Even if we have an international meeting, with 10 to 30 countries, we do not have to go anywhere, just sit in the room, now that everything has been made very simple and possible.”
The RM4.56bil deal on palm oil sale was another success scored on this China trip.
Proton has also secured a RM1.88bil loan from China Construction Bank to finance its future business expansion, paving the way for the Malaysian car company to aim towards becoming the third largest brand in Asean by 2027.
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