HEALTHY INVESTMENT FLOW FROM CHINA
Experts see growing trade despite Beijing’s move to tighten capital outflows
LIDIANA ROSLI KUALA LUMPUR firstname.lastname@example.org
MALAYSIA can still expect a healthy pipeline of investments from China, despite the recent move by the world’s second largest economy to tighten capital outflows.
Experts said the potential opportunities here and in the region, combined with the pushfactor of growing populism and protectionism in the West, were the key driving forces.
Malaysian Mergers and Acquisitions Association (MMAA) vice-president Yap Kong Meng said one of the key attractions for investments would be the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.
“OBOR is very much China’s initiative, and Malaysia is strategically placed in that route.”
Last week, for example, China’s ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang highlighted four key industries China hoped to invest in — seafood, solar energy, rubber and tourism.
The recently-concluded Global Transformation Forum, meanwhile, saw strong endorsement of potential growth opportunities from China’s most recognisable corporate figure, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma.
In recent months, however, China had appeared concerned with the growing investments overseas by its homegrown firms, and now requires special approval from regulatory authorities for remittances.
“Yes, now tighter capital controls are coming from mainland China, but I believe if the Chinese companies’ investments here are in line with OBOR, the passage would be safe,” said Yap.
He said these investments would likely be in the form of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), among others. “More Western firms too would come to our shores as they seek diversification of risk.”
Intralinks senior vice-president of sales for Asia Pacific Allan Robertson, meanwhile, said Malaysia was one of the most vibrant economies in Southeast Asia and was expected to achieve a growth rate of four to five per cent this year.
MMAA and Intralinks yesterday signed an agreement to promote M&A best practices and technology in Malaysia.
Yap Kong Mei