GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia offers unparalleled advantages for investors not just as a gateway to Asean, but also to markets of the world, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister said the IMD World Competitiveness Centre ranked Malaysia as the 25th most competitive nation among 64 economies in 2021.
"The World Economic Forum ranked Malaysia 6th most digitally savvy government out of 139 economies.
"The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement in November 2020 signifies Malaysia's commitments to regional integration while boosting economic activity.
"Being the largest FTA (Free Trade Agreement) in the world, the RCEP offered preferential market access to approximately 2.2b billion people, which is equivalent to a third of the world's population.
"This will not only present new opportunities for Malaysian business, but also for regional business communities tapping into RCEP to access Malaysian and Asean markets more broadly," Ismail Sabri said.
Ismail Sabri said in his opening virtual address at the Global Chinese Economic & Technology (GCET) Summit 2021, which was organised by KSI Strategic Institute For Asia Pacific (KSI).
Also present at the event were Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, KSI president Tan Sri Michael Yeoh and GCET Summit founder and patron Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and China Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing also delivered their speeches virtually.
Ismail Sabri also said China was Malaysia's top foreign investor in the manufacturing sector from 2016-2020.
"During these five years, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry through its agency, Malaysian Investment Development Authority approved 243 projects with a total investment of US$14.91bil (RM63.04bil)," Ismail Sabri said the investment from China generated 50,000 jobs in the country.
"China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner since 2009 and accounted for 18.6% of Malaysia's total trade in 2020. Exports to China recorded a new high in 2020, expanding by 11.1% to US$37.77bil.
"China was also Malaysia's biggest import source, accounting for 21.5% of total imports," he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Fuzi presented World Chinese Excellent Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of KSI to 13 people.
The recipients were Lim Seong Hai Capital Bhd Tan Sri Lim Keng Cheng, MTT Group of Companies chairman Datuk Seri Kenny Ong, East West One Group founder and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Jessie Tang, Gama Sogo Group of Companies executive chairman Datuk Andrew Lim Tatt Keong, AIMSMET Executive Education president and chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Jayles Yeoh, Revenue Group Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Eddie Ng Chee Siong, Kuala Lumpur International Healthcare Centre chief executive officer Jocelyn Sim Kok Fang, CBRE/WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen, Leader Energy Holding Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Gan Boon Hean, Innoprise Plantations Sdn Bhd managing director Tan Aik Kiong, Open Road Group of Companies founder and adviser Datuk David Goh, Star Media Group Bhd chief content officer Esther Ng Sek Yee, Bioplus Life Corp chairman Datuk Dr Chin Yew Sin.