RM144 bil­lion in deals with China

> Navy to also pur­chase four ships in land­mark de­fence trans­ac­tion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

BEI­JING: Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak’s third of­fi­cial visit to China is not only his­tor­i­cal from a busi­ness per­spec­tive, it also re­sulted in a land­mark de­ci­sion on de­fence.

Na­jib said in terms of trade agree­ments, Malaysian and Chi­nese com­pa­nies made historic achieve­ments, with the sign­ing of 14 agree­ments worth RM144 bil­lion.

At a press con­fer­ence with Malaysian me­dia here yes­ter­day, he said the Malaysian gov­ern­ment also made a land­mark de­ci­sion to buy four Lit­toral Mis­sion Ships from China, with two to be built in China and the other two in Malaysia.

Na­jib, who is also fi­nance min­is­ter, said more of the ships would be pur­chased if the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) is sat­is­fied with the ves­sels, that are ex­pected to be com­pleted in two years.

De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein said this was the first time Malaysia pur­chased mil­i­tary equip­ment from China and the de­ci­sion was based on rec­om­men­da­tions by RMN due to the cheaper price while ful­fill­ing its cri­te­ria.

He said any ex­cess from RMN’s al­lo­ca­tion on ves­sel re­pair would be used in the pur­chase of the ships to re­place the ex­ist­ing Ad­mi­ral-class Corvettes.

Mean­while, Na­jib said in his meet­ing with his Chi­nese coun­ter­part Li Ke­qiang, the dis­cus­sion did not only con­cern gi­ant cor­po­ra­tions but also high­lighted is­sues per­tain­ing to small farm­ers and the swift­let in­dus­try.

He also pro­posed to Li that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment in­crease the pur­chase of palm oil, con­sid­er­ing 500,000 small­hold­ers in the coun­try de­pended on its de­mand.

Na­jib said Li had given a pos­i­tive re­sponse and would take the nec­es­sary ac­tion.

On the is­sue of raw and un­pro­cessed bird’s nest ex­ports to China, Na­jib said the gov­ern­ment pro­posed to China that the fa­cil­ity to ex­port such com­mod­ity be set­tled as soon as pos­si­ble as it in­volved 10,000 swift­let farm­ers in Malaysia, which is the world’s sec­ond largest pro­ducer of bird’s nests.

The bird’s nest mar­ket in China stands at US$1.8 bil­lion (RM7.52 bil­lion) per year.

Na­jib said he also in­formed Li that the Xiamen Uni­ver­sity Malaysia Cam­pus in Sepang, Se­lan­gor – the first lead­ing uni­ver­sity from China to set up an over­seas cam­pus – would re­ceive its first batch of 5,000 stu­dents in the first quar­ter of next year.

He said Malaysia’s to­tal trade with China had in­creased by 2% from Jan­uary-June com­pared with the same pe­riod last year.

Among the flag­ship projects that China is par­tic­i­pat­ing are the in­te­grated un­der­ground city “Ban­dar Malaysia”, which is be­ing jointly de­vel­oped by China Rail­way Group Lim­ited with Iskan­dar Wa­ter­front Hold­ings. An­other such pro­ject is the Malacca Gate­way, a mega de­vel­op­ment de­vel­oped by Pow­erchina In­ter­na­tional Group with KAJ De­vel­op­ment.

Na­jib said with such strong busi­ness ties and greater air con­nec­tiv­ity, the trade and busi­ness re­la­tions be­tween both na­tions were set to flour­ish.

“With Malaysia Air­lines and AirAsia now pro­vid­ing ser­vices to many Chi­nese cities, and with a char­ter flight ser­vice from Guang­dong to Malacca start­ing last month, cre­ation of new ties will be en­cour­aged,” he added. – Ber­nama

Na­jib shak­ing hands with Li dur­ing an of­fi­cial wel­com­ing cer­e­mony at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing.

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