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New Straits Times - - News - DATUK SERI NA­JIB RAZAK

world, in­clud­ing China.”

He said while there were those scep­ti­cal of the phrase “win-win co­op­er­a­tion” from China, South­east Asian na­tions could see the truth in it go­ing by some of OBOR’s gamechang­ing in­fras­truc­ture projects.

“For ex­am­ple, the China-Laos rail­way; the Jakarta-Ban­dung high-speed rail­way; the Nakhon Ratchasi­maBangkok high­speed rail­way; and, for us in Malaysia, the East Coast Rail Link.

“The rail line will drive con­nec­tiv­ity and eco­nomic growth for Malaysia’s un­der­de­vel­oped east coast, and act as a land-bridge en­abling cost- and time-ef­fi­cient trans­port of goods be­tween Africa, the Mid­dle East and Asia.”

Na­jib said as Asia con­tin­ued to rise and took a greater place on the world stage, this model would en­sure it did so as friends to all.

“This is the Asian Cen­tury, so let us en­sure that it is marked not by the strife, wars and en­mity of past cen­turies.

“Let us in­stead be true to our val­ues of mu­tual re­spect, peace, har­mony and non-in­ter­fer­ence in the af­fairs of sov­er­eign states.”

He said that even though it had only been a few months since his last visit to China, the warmth and friend­li­ness ex­pe­ri­enced would not be for­got­ten.

Dur­ing that time, he said, Malaysia signed agree­ments and un­der­stand­ings amount­ing to RM144 bil­lion, which was a sign of the great con­fi­dence Chi­nese in­vestors had in Malaysia.

“And with good rea­son. A re­cent re­port co-au­thored by the Whar­ton School of the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia named Malaysia as the best coun­try to in­vest in.

“Although my visit was only a very short time ago, we have al­ready seen re­sults. In March, for in­stance, Jack Ma of Alibaba and I launched the world’s first Dig­i­tal Free Trade Zone in Kuala Lumpur.

“This will be a cat­a­lyst for ecom­merce and small- and medium-sized en­ter­prises, and will be the pre­mier hub for global and lo­cal In­ter­net-based com­pa­nies tar­get­ing South­east Asia.”

He said the lit­toral mis­sion ships Malaysia agreed to buy from China, would pro­vide jobs in both Malaysia and China — as the first two ships were be­ing built in each coun­try — as well as knowl­edge trans­fer to Malaysia.

“That is truly an ex­am­ple of win-win co­op­er­a­tion, and if it is on that ba­sis that the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive con­tin­ues to de­velop, we should all wel­come it. We should all con­trib­ute to and par­tic­i­pate in it.

“And we should all wish it ev­ery suc­cess.” By Chok Suat Ling

And with good rea­son. A re­cent re­port coau­thored by the Whar­ton School of the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia named Malaysia as the best coun­try to in­vest in.

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