‘Fast track approvals for Chinese firms’

Feeling close to home: Ahmad Zahid (centre) posing with Malaysian students in Shanghai. — Bernama

SHANGHAI: Expedite and accelerate all approvals for Chinese firms intending to do business in Malaysia, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi tells government agencies.

The Deputy Prime Minister said this was key to ensuring that China, Malaysia’s largest trading partner, continued to expand its investments in the country.

“I hope that the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), the Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), and other related organisations under Miti will facilitate the approval process, not only as one-stop agencies but by easing the approval procedures.

“I also call on local government bodies and local authorities (PBT) to expedite approvals for Chinese businesses looking to expand their activities here, given their strong confidence in our country’s political stability, favourable investment climate and efficient tax regime.

“Hence, all agencies involved in granting business approvals from China and other countries must make the process simpler and faster,” said Ahmad Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, Bernama reported.

He was speaking during a gathering with Malaysians working and studying in Shanghai yesterday.

He cautioned that if the approval process was not handled promptly and proactively, China might go to other Asean countries to invest.

China ranks as the fifth largest investor in Malaysia, and in 2023, trade between the two reached RM450.84bil, accounting for 17.1% of Malaysia’s global trade.

During the same year, 64 manufacturing projects with investments totalling RM12bil were approved, and they are expected to create 9,305 jobs.

This was Ahmad Zahid’s first official trip to China since assuming office as Deputy Prime Minister in December 2022.

The 11-day visit, which kicked off on May 22, was made at the invitation of Chinese Vice-Premier Ding Xuexiang.

The visit is part of the exchange of high-level visits lined up to commemorate 50 years of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations, which were first started in May 31, 1974.

Also present during Ahmad Zahid’s trip were Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin, Malaysia’s Consul-General in Shanghai Syed Farizal Aminy Syed Mohamad and Mara chairman Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

Ahmad Zahid also urged Mara to be proactive in encouraging Malaysian students to continue their studies in China.

“Starting this year, I would like to open the floodgate for Mara students, especially GiatMara, (and) UniKL, to send their students to study in China to acquire knowledge and new technology.

“China is advanced in terms of high technology. They are very open to sharing their knowledge and technology especially with us. Therefore, I would like to urge Mara chairman to open up the minds, (correct) the perception of (Malaysian) parents especially the bumiputra, to send their children to study in China,” he said.

“What is important is for us to obtain the knowledge and technology from China’s colleges and universities to be brought back to our country.”

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