LBS boss: Invest in Greater Bay Area now

PETALING JAYA: As China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA) continues with its rapid growth, Malaysian businesses must act quickly to capture investment and partnership opportunities, said LBS Bina Group Bhd.

Its managing director Tan Sri Lim Hock San (pic) said the GBA, which is China’s most productive geographical area, is set to be an important pillar for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The GBA, which spans across 56,000sq km, and consists of Hong Kong, Macau and nine other cities in the Guangdong province, is also expected become the gateway between China and other economies involved in the BRI.

“There is more attention on the GBA now than ever before.

“While there is a lot of potential for Malaysian businesses in this area, we should not sit around and wait for these opportunities to arise.

“We must be proactive – attend seminars and events relating to the GBA and network with the right people,” he said after a presentation at the Malaysia-China Outlook Forum 2019 here yesterday.

To promote greater cooperation, Lim said Malaysian businesses must first learn to boost their competitiveness.

He said the expansion of the 11 cities within the GBA will create opportunities for businesses in the financial, manufacturing, tourism, retail and technology sectors, among others.

“The small-and-medium sized business in Malaysia as well as tech start-ups should seize this opportunity to collaborate with Chinese SMEs,” he said.

Lim called on Malaysian businesses to make an effort to visit the modern and high-tech companies operating within the GBA, in order to learn from them.

For example, he said, Shenzhen is known for its high-tech manufacturing and innovation capabilities, Guangzhou and Dongguan for its manufacturing strengths, and Hong Kong is an international finance centre as well as a renminbi hub.

The GBA, with a year-on-year GDP growth rate of 7%, has unique geographical advantages that place it at par with its global peers like the Greater New York and Greater Tokyo areas, Lim said.

While the GBA occupies only 0.6% of China’s land area, it accounts for almost 12% of the country’s GDP.

Moving forward, he said, the GDP of the area is expected to hit US$3.6 trillion by 2030, which is about 10 times bigger than the Malaysian economy.

“As the GBA continues to grow, Malaysia is poised to benefit, in terms of increased trade, tourism and in many other ways that we cannot foresee now.

“The Malaysian government will also need to be more innovative and see how they can tap into this opportunity,” he said.

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