PETALING JAYA: Recognising Sabah as part of the larger Asean family can help enhance business and investment ties between the grouping and China, which last year saw a 15% increase in trade, a former foreign minister said.
Anifah Aman said such recognition would allow the member countries to tap into the vast potential of the Asean-China relationship.
“Sabah’s strategic geographical positioning and its thriving economy make it an integral part of the Asean community,” he said in his keynote address at the Global Chinese Economic and Technology Summit in Shenzhen, today.
Anifah, who is also a special adviser for international relations and foreign investment to Sabah chief minister Hajiji Noor, said the state’s proximity to major trade routes makes it a prime candidate for investments and trade partnerships.
“By investing in Sabah, you not only tap into its potential but also contribute to the economic development of the region.”
Anifah went on to say that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which came into effect last year, led to China’s imports and exports to Asean reaching US$970 billion or 6.52 trillion yuan.
The agreement has not only reduced trade costs but has also fostered the integration of industrial chains, he said.
“It played a vital role in countering challenges posed by sluggish global demand and other factors, thereby contributing to the recovery of the Asia-Pacific economy.”