KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's unhindered access to the US and Europe markets makes a good choice for China-based exporters to relocate here, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, in view of the ongoing trade war.
“Beyond domestic considerations, Malaysia has easy access to the world's major markets, be it the US, Europe or elsewhere," he said.
“This is an important factor for exporters to consider when the global supply chain is being re-oriented due to trade flows either in the Pacific driven by the US.
"For China-based exporters affected by the trade war, Malaysia is clearly a base that you'll need,” Lim added.
In the first quarter of 2019, Malaysia approved a foreign direct investment of RM29.3 billion, an increase of 73.4 per cent compared to RM16.9 billion last year.
A total of RM4.4 billion came from China, making China the second biggest source of approved manufacturing investment into Malaysia, after the US investments of RM11.1 billion, in the first three months of this year.
Lim lauded Huawei for locating its regional hub in Kuala Lumpur, with more than 2,500 employees.
Reputed as the leader in 5G technology, Lim said Huawei and other technology companies have a role to play in aiding Malaysia in implementing Industry 4.0 technology, especially 5G, throughout the society here.
"We will continue to facilitate Chinese investment into Malaysia particularly the high-tech Industries and innovation-based services," he said, adding that Malaysia is keen to learn from Chinese advances in artificial intelligence (AI), advanced materials, robotics and cloud computing.
"We hope to woo more high tech investments from China. I will be flying to Shenzhen this month. We want to let potential investors know that we're much better, not only in terms of manufacturing mix but also cost, compared to other countries,” he said.
Lim was speaking to reporters after officiating at the opening the Malaysia-China Belt and Road Economic Cooperation Forum 2019 here today.
Also present were Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian, Malaysian Investment Development Authority chairman Datuk Abdul Majid Ahmad Khan and Malaysia-China Business Council chairman Tan Kok Wai.