Ex­perts see grow­ing trade de­spite Beijing’s move to tighten cap­i­tal out­flows

New Straits Times - - Business -


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

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