Zhejiang Geely says tie-up with Proton part of Obor initiative


DUNHUANG: Chinese car maker Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group’s venture into Proton Holdings Bhd is a great example of China’s One Belt, One Road (Obor) initiative.

Zhejiang Geely’s Chairman, Li Shufu, said China’s economy was at an important transition point, hence the company, as a Chinese multinational car manufacturing company, was actively engaging in the Obor.

“In June 2017 Zhejiang Geely signed an acquisition agreement with Proton and the deal is expected to close by the end of this month.

“This is an example of the company pursuing the Obor initiative, especially in car and infrastructure development,” he told journalists from over 120 countries at the 2017 Media Cooperation Forum on Obor here yesterday.

China’s biggest newspaper group, The People’s Daily, hosted the forum.

Shufu said while going global was important, it was more crucial to develop corporate culture.

“The key to this is integration, inclusiveness and an open culture,” he said.

He said the burst of business development initiatives was not just about profit but also involved social values and corporate social responsibility.

In June 2017 Proton’s parent company, DRB-Hicom Bhd signed a definitive agreement with Zhejiang Geely, a Chinese car conglomerate, to sell its 49.9% stake in Proton.

Prime Minister Najib Razak was reported as saying the DRB-Hicom-Zhejiang Geely partnership would see Proton becoming a global manufacturing hub for the Chinese company’s right-hand-drive vehicles as well as propel the national car maker to greater heights of success and a secure future.

The agreement encompassed seven strategic areas of collaboration which included Proton acquiring the exclusive rights to Zhejiang Geely’s products and latest technology to the region and to access markets beyond Southeast Asia and China.

Under the agreement, Proton’s research and development operations would become Geely’s Centre of Excellence in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, complementing the various other operating sites it has worldwide.

Malaysia will also become the right-hand-drive hub for Zhejiang Geely vehicles in this region.

This will ensure the Tanjung Malim plant is used to maximum capacity. It will also help create new jobs for both the local community and at the national level.