Courting China investment, Putrajaya touts access to Chinese-speaking workers, managers

23-Jan-2019 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The Ministry for International Trade and Industry (Miti) has listed access to Chinese speaking workers and managers as among the perks for companies from China to invest in Malaysia.

Its deputy minister Ong Kian Ming said in a statement that Malaysia aims to court the other 300 out of the top 500 Chinese companies which have yet to invest in the country, amid Putrajaya’s concern of neo-colonialism by the super-power.

“An estimated 300 out of the top 500 Chinese companies, as listed by Fortune Magazine, have not yet invested in Malaysia. These are the companies which we want to entice to Malaysia by showing off our natural and strategic advantages as an investment location.

“The message that Malaysia welcomes high quality investments from China (and other parts of the world) must be sent loudly and clearly!” said Ong.

The statement listed his key points on the government’s policy towards Chinese investments in Malaysia, made in a conference with Deloitte Malaysia’s Chinese Services Group and the Bank of China (Malaysia) last week.

He listed down a stable political environment, well-developed logistics infrastructure, relatively skilled workforce, cost-competitive environment for doing business, and good quality of life as the other advantages that can be reaped by Chinese companies by doing business here.

Under prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir’s Mohamad leadership, Putrajaya has last year intervened in a number of projects undertaken by China’s companies inked with the previous administration, amid fears that the deals were lopsided.

However on a press briefing during an official visit to China in August, Dr Mahathir reportedly said he supported free trade as long as it was fair, noting that it was undesirable to have neo-colonialism owing to countries being at different stages of development.

Ong sought to allay those fears by saying that the speed at which many of these companies invest and start their operations in Malaysia may necessitate an initial influx of Chinese workers, especially at the construction and technology transfer phases.

“Over time, because these workers have to be deployed back to China or to other parts of the world, these Chinese companies will inevitably localised their staff including at the upper management levels.

“The more innovative and forward looking companies will look to Malaysia as more than just a manufacturing and export base. They will capitalise on the diverse human resources and the domestic market in Malaysia to establish their regional innovation, procurement and training hubs,” he said, lauding tech giant Huawei as one of those firms.

According to Ong, Huawei has not only trained local workers and regional customers, but has also participated in studies of Malaysia’s 5G readiness and partnered with local universities in research and development projects.


Category: China

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