Malaysia to strengthen global ties during WCES 2017

By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Malaysia will take advantage of the gathering of industry leaders at 9th World Chinese Economic Summit (WCES) 2017 to promote and increase the country’s visibility.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the summit, which will be held in Hong Kong next month, would allow Malaysia to enhance connectivity and business linkages between China, South-East Asia and Europe, in line with the Belt and Road initiative.

“The Belt and Road initiative and the Silk Road have the ability to bring greater economic development to South-East Asia and the Middle East. We should seize the opportunity to enhance our trade with China and help in the recovery of the world economy,” he said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Created by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) nine years ago, the event has been a vital platform for business linkages.

Liow said the Chinese diaspora is an important part of the country’s economy and the forum can be used as a bridge to connect to various countries. He said the WCES forum would allow Malaysia to understand how to tap into the two initiatives.

ASLI CEO Tan Sri Dr Michael Yeoh Oon Khing said despite the global uncertainty in many parts of the world, including the tension between the US and North Korea, there are still many opportunities available.

“One of the topics that will be discussed is the shift into digital economy. There will be talks on urbanisation and smart cities that will definitely be of interest to property developers, especially in Malaysia.”

“We can have a better understanding of the Belt and Road initiative and how Malaysia can benefit from it. Hopefully, it will lead to more deals with China and ventures with other participating countries,” he said.

Yeoh said many important deals were made during previous WCES, namely leading Chinese developer Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd’s agreement to build Johor’s Iskandar Puteri development.

The forum will start on Nov 13, 2017, and run for two days with a total of 100 speakers from 28 different countries.