26/05/2024 04:39 PM

From Muhammad Saufee Rosman

SHANGHAI, May 26 (Bernama) -- All parties involved in approving business and foreign investment applications, particularly from China, are urged to streamline and accelerate the process, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said. 

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said this is key to ensuring that China, Malaysia's largest trading partner, can continue to expand its business and investment activities in the country.

“I hope that the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI), and other related organisations under MITI will facilitate the approval process, not only as one-stop agencies but by easing the approval procedures.

“I also call on local government bodies and local authorities (PBT) to expedite approvals for Chinese businesses looking to expand their activities here, given their strong confidence in our country's political stability, favourable investment climate and efficient tax organisation. 

“Hence, all agencies involved in granting business approvals from China and other countries must make the process simpler and faster,” he said during a gathering with the Malaysian community and students in Shanghai today.

Also present were Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin, Malaysia's Consul-General in Shanghai Syed Farizal Aminy Syed Mohamad and MARA chairman Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

Ahmad Zahid cautioned that if the approval process is not handled promptly and proactively, China might seek investment opportunities in other ASEAN countries.

This visit marks Ahmad Zahid's first official trip to China since assuming office as Deputy Prime Minister in December 2022. The 11-day visit, which kicked off on May 22, was made at the invitation of Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang.

Malaysia and China established official bilateral relations on May 31, 1974. The visit is part of the exchange of high-level visits lined up for the year to commemorate the 50th year of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations.

In 2023, trade between Malaysia and China reached RM450.84 billion (US$98.80 billion), accounting for 17.1 per cent of Malaysia's global trade. During the same year, 64 manufacturing projects with investments totaling RM12 billion (US$2.6 billion) were approved.

China ranks as the fifth largest investor in Malaysia, with these projects expected to create 9,305 job opportunities.


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