DEALS WORTH RM31B SIGNED

AirAsia (China), Me­laka Gate­way projects among them

New Straits Times - - News -

CHOK SUAT LING BEI­JING news@nst.com.my

PRIME Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak wit­nessed the ex­change of nine busi­ness-to-busi­ness (B2B) mem­o­randa of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) and agreements yes­ter­day, with the pro­posed in­vest­ments es­ti­mated at RM31.26 bil­lion.

The MoUs cover sec­tors such as con­struc­tion, agri­cul­ture, stock ex­change, in­fra­struc­ture, avi­a­tion and port co­op­er­a­tion

(see box).

AirAsia Bhd ex­changed an MoU with China Ever­bright Group and He­nan Gov­ern­ment Work­ing Group to estab­lish a low-cost car­rier (LCC) in China.

The MoU out­lines how the par­ties will in­cor­po­rate a joint ven­ture, to be known as AirAsia (China), to op­er­ate a low-cost avi­a­tion busi­ness based in Zhengzhou, the cap­i­tal of He­nan prov­ince in cen­tral China.

In ad­di­tion, AirAsia (China) will in­vest in avi­a­tion in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing a ded­i­cated LCC ter­mi­nal at Zhengzhou air­port and an avi­a­tion academy to train pilots, crew and en­gi­neers, as well as main­te­nance, re­pair and over­haul (MRO) fa­cil­i­ties to ser­vice air­craft.

The MoU was ex­changed be­tween AirAsia Group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tan Sri Tony Fer­nan­des, Ever­bright Fi­nan­cial In­vest­ment Hold­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor and pres­i­dent Wang Weifeng, and He­nan Air­port Group gen­eral man­ager Li Wei­dong at China World Ho­tel here yes­ter­day.

Fer­nan­des said Zhengzhou was cho­sen as the base due to its strate­gic lo­ca­tion and im­por­tance as a lo­gis­tics hub.

“As China’s gate­way to Europe, Zhengzhou sits at the cen­tre of a vast rail, high­way and air trans­port net­work that forms the lynch­pin of China’s de­vel­op­ment plans for its cen­tral and western re­gions. With Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s vi­sion for One Belt, One Road, Zhengzhou is set to be­come even more im­por­tant, not least as the heart of low-cost air travel in North Asia,” Fer­nan­des said.

“This Chi­nese ven­ture rep­re­sents the fi­nal piece of the AirAsia puz­zle. In just 16 years, we have suc­cess­fully built a pres­ence in Malaysia, Thai­land, In­done­sia, Philip­pines, In­dia and Ja­pan, with China clos­ing the loop on all ma­jor ter­ri­to­ries in the Asia-Pa­cific. AirAsia can now live up to its name as the only air­line that con­nects trav­ellers across the Asia-Pa­cific, from China, Ja­pan and South Korea in the north, Aus­tralia and New Zealand to the south, In­dia and the Mid­dle East to the west, and Asean at the cen­tre.”

AirAsia was the first for­eign LCC to en­ter China and has car­ried more than 40 mil­lion guests since its in­au­gu­ral route to China in April 2005. AirAsia and AirAsia X cur­rently fly to 15 des­ti­na­tions in China and is the largest for­eign LCC oper­at­ing into the coun­try.

Most of the other in­vest­ment projects will be car­ried out through­out Malaysia, for ex­am­ple Me­laka Gate­way in Me­laka, Robotic Fu­ture City in Jo­hor Baru, and a methanol and de­riv­a­tives project in Sarawak.

For Me­laka Gate­way, KAJ De­vel­op­ment signed an agree­ment with Power China, Shen­zhen Yan­tian Port Group and Rizhao Port Group to jointly de­velop Me­laka Gate­way as a mixed de­vel­op­ment com­pris­ing four is­lands for tourism, smart-city and com­mer­cial hub, deep sea port, ship­build­ing and re­pair ser­vices, and mar­itime in­dus­trial park. The gross de­vel­op­ment value of Me­laka Gate­way is RM30 bil­lion.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said Me­laka was an im­por­tant port of call dur­ing the an­cient Mar­itime Silk Road, lead­ing to trade and cul­tural ex­change be­tween Me­laka and China.

“I am glad to note that, with the One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive and deep sea port, Me­laka will once again rise and play a prom­i­nent role in the world’s mar­itime sec­tor.”

The Robotic Fu­ture City MoU was be­tween Jo­hor Cor­po­ra­tion and Si­a­sun Robot In­vest­ment Co Ltd. The co­op­er­a­tion in­volves the de­vel­op­ment of 1,000 acres (404.686ha) of land to estab­lish Robotic Fu­ture City in Jo­hor with in­vest­ments of over RM15 bil­lion. The fu­tur­is­tic city aims to de­velop the robotic in­dus­try and spur the growth of var­i­ous sup­ply chains in Malaysia.

The MoU for the methanol and de­riv­a­tives project in Sarawak was be­tween Yayasan Har­tanah Bu­mi­put­era Sarawak, Con­sor­tium of Huan­hqiu Con­tract­ing & En­gi­neer­ing Co and MACFEAM Sdn Bhd.

The project in Sarawak com­prises two phases with an in­vest­ment value of RM2 bil­lion. The project is lo­cated at Tan­jung Kidurong and is ex­pected to be com­pleted by 2021.

PIC AP

Se­cu­rity guards wear­ing bul­let­proof vests sit­ting at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple be­fore the meet­ing be­tween Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and Chi­nese Premier Li Ke­qiang, on the side­lines of the Belt and Road Fo­rum, in Bei­jing on Sun­day.

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