KOTA KINABALU: China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei, has arrived in the state capital to promote industrial exchange and encourage more Chinese investors to Sabah.
He was warmly received by Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau, at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) yesterday.
Miao, who admitted that it was his first time here, said that Sabah was a popular destination for Chinese tourists, but his mission for this visit was to promote industrial exchange and to encourage more Chinese investors to contribute towards the development of the State.
He said Sabah was not only blessed with scenic views, but also rich natural resources which were vital for development.
“The friendship ties between China and Malaysia is further strengthened with the formation of the new government led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“We must implement the consensus achieved by the leaders of both countries, in terms of facilitating more economic and industrial cooperation between China and Malaysia, including Sabah,” he said at a press conference at the airport.
Miao went on to say that Dr Mahathir had welcomed China firms to Malaysia in effort to accelerate the development of 5G technology during the latter’s visit to Japan last month.
“We are confident that we could encourage Chinese companies to work with the Malaysian government in developing 5G infrastructure in this country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tangau said Miao’s visit gave the State Government an opportunity to show potential investment destinations in Sabah.
He said Miao would tour the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP), followed by a meeting with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal today.
“We hope the minister could assist us in facilitating more investors from China to Sabah, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” Tangau said.
He said Miao’s visit was also timely, given that Shafie had recently led a trade mission to China which saw RM20 billion worth of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in investments signed.
“We are in the progress of following through some of the investments and hopefully they will be implemented,” he said.
Tangau added that a China-based commodities exchange company operating in Singapore had recently started its operations at Lahad Datu Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC).
“This is a game changer for Chinese investment in Sabah. With Lahad Datu POIC as the tender port for palm oil, it will be nearer to China for export,” he said.
He hoped that more palm oil would be exported to other countries, especially China.
“We hope the visit of the minister (Miao) will boost confidence of other players, particularly on the trading platform,” Tangau said.
Also present was Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide.