Saturday, August 20

Najib proposes sister industrial park with Qinzhou in M’sia


NANNING: Malaysia hopes the Chinese government and its business and industry players will support the establishment of a sister industrial park in Malaysia following the successful launch of the Qinzhou Industrial Park (QIP) near here yesterday.

Speaking at the official launch of QIP, a joint-venture project between Malaysia and China, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said such a project would help Chinese companies develop a larger footprint in Southeast Asia.

“I would like to see a similar development in Malaysia,” he said when he jointly launched the QIP with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao at the project site in Qinzhou, some 150km from here.

Najib said the sister park would provide new opportunities for Malaysian and Chinese entrepreneurs to do business.

Quoting a Chinese proverb, ‘One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade’, the prime minister said he believed that the opening of the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park marked the beginning of ‘a new era of economic cooperation between our nations from which the next generation stands to profit’.

During the launch, Najib and Jiabao laid a foundation stone and planted a tree as a symbol of the growing friendship between the two nations.

Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, also joined other dignitaries in the tree-planting ceremony.

Najib described the ties between Malaysia and China today as the ‘strongest they have ever been’.

“The bonds of family and friendship between this great nation and Malaysia’s own Chinese community are there for all to see,” he said.

The prime minister also expressed satisfaction with the rapid progress of the QIP after the idea was first mooted during the Chinese premier’s visit to Kuala Lumpur last April.

“The rapid realisation of this project in just a year — the extraordinary speed with which the dream has become a reality — is a testament to the vibrancy, energy and commitment on both sides and to the ever broader and deeper economic ties between our nations,” he said.

The QIP is strategic, given its proximity to the Asean countries, as the nearby Qinzhou Free Port will act as the most convenient access to Southwest China, particular Kunming, the largest city of Yunnan province.

With a coastline of 86 kilometres, the Qinzhou free port is one of the closest Chinese ports to the Asean countries.

The QIP, to be built on 55 sq km over 15 years, will play a role as the entry point for Malaysian companies and products to penetrate the wide Chinese domestic market.

The first phase covers 15 sq km. Najib said the start-up area, which covers 7.87 sq km, was estimated to bring an investment of about US$300 million (RM918.6 million).

Jiabao, in his speech, said he concurred with Najib that relations between China and Malaysia must be based on mutual trust, and added that only in this way could both countries face the global challenges.

He said China-Malaysia relations had a strong foundation and long history because they stretched way back to the time of Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia’s second prime minister and Najib’s father.

“We have to continue sowing the seeds of hope for a better future for both countries,” he added.

For three consecutive years, China was Malaysia’s biggest trading partner, which accounted for 13.2 per cent of the total value of Malaysia’s world trade. — Bernama

Trade between Malaysia and China last year totalled US$54.53 billion (RM166.9 billion), up from US$45.50 billion (RM139.3 billion) in 2010.

Also present at the launch were Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, the prime minister’s special envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting and delegations of the joint-venture project companies from Malaysia and China.

The project will be spearheaded by a consortium comprising companies from Malaysia led by Rimbunan Hijau Group and SP Setia Bhd Group, while China will be represented by Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group and Qinzhou Jingu Investment Company.

The companies earlier signed a joint-venture agreement on the project, witnessed by Najib and Jiabao. — Bernama