More China firms interested in investing after trade war, says Kian Ming

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia can potentially benefit from the trade war between the US and China, as evidenced by the greater interest shown by firms from China, according to Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming.

Ong said following the trade war and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s official visit to China last month, “there has been a significant increase in interest from China companies wanting to invest in Malaysia”.

However, he added that it was not just the trade war between the US and China that had resulted in the increased interest. Malaysia’s open economy was also an attraction for China investors, he said.

Also, Chinese companies in the manufacturing sector wanted to move into Southeast Asia, especially countries with logistics connectivity such as Malaysia, Ong said.

He was speaking to reporters at a press conference after chairing the 4th joint cooperation council meeting of the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) and China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP) here today.

Meanwhile, China’s Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang, who was present at the meeting, said despite the US-China trade war, his country’s economy was stable.

“Even under this complex environment, our economy is resilient and there is space for economic development,” he said.

On the MCKIP, Ong said 10 projects, with a total investment of RM20 billion, had been confirmed and these were expected to create 20,000 jobs, especially for those in Kuantan.

“Out of the RM20 billion investment, RM5.7 billion has been realised and another RM8.1billion approved,” he added.

Ong said the development area of the CMQIP had reached 22km with 360 registered enterprises and 42 key industrial projects, including 10 high technology projects, worth a total investment of RM38.75 billion.