Malaysia aims to be a re­gional trans­ship­ment hub

Global Times US Edition - - BIZOVE -

Malaysian Trans­port Min­is­ter An­thony Loke Siew Fook said on Thurs­day that Malaysia seeks to be­come China’s trans­ship­ment hub for the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN).

De­liv­er­ing the open­ing ad­dress at the In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum in Kuala Lumpur, Loke said Malaysia’s strate­gic po­si­tion in the re­gion with a large num­ber of ports fac­ing the South China Sea and Malacca Strait and com­mit­ment to the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive make it an ideal can­di­date.

“The his­toric pres­ence of China in Malaysia, par­tic­u­larly in Me­laka dur­ing the era of the an­cient Silk Road, in­spired the es­tab­lish­ment of a ‘port al­liance’ net­work be­tween the two coun­tries,” Loke said.

“It is my fer­vent hope that this al­liance is fur­ther op­ti­mized in an ef­fort to aug­ment Malaysian ports ca­pac­ity,” he said.

The al­liance was set up in 2015. It cov­ers 12 Chi­nese ports and nine Malaysian ports, and it in­cludes ca­pac­ity build­ing, shar­ing of ex­per­tise, port stud­ies and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance.

Loke pointed to the Malaysia-China Kuan­tan In­dus­trial Park (MCKIP), the first in­dus­trial park to be jointly de­vel­oped by Malaysia and China, as an ex­am­ple of the way for­ward.

“In line with the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive, Malaysia and China have also jointly es­tab­lished two in­dus­trial parks – one in Kuan­tan Malaysia, and the other in Qinzhou, [South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Au­tonomous Re­gion].”

“In op­ti­miz­ing the flow of trade and in­vest­ment be­tween Malaysia and China, Kuan­tan Port of­fers in­vestors in MCKIP the fastest route to China’s Qinzhou Port, its sis­ter port, in just three to four days,” he said.

The min­is­ter also said the in­volve­ment of Chi­nese com­pa­nies in Malaysia’s ma­jor rail projects has helped Malaysia to in­crease its ca­pac­ity and grad­u­ally up­grade rail ser­vices.

One of the projects is an elec­tri­fied dou­ble-track­ing pro­ject, be­ing un­der­taken by a con­sor­tium of State-owned Chi­nese com­pa­nies in south­ern Malaysia. Upon com­ple­tion in 2021, the 197-kilo­me­ter line will boost do­mes­tic and re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity.

Loke also said the open­ing of the CRRC Rolling Stock Cen­ter in Batu Ga­jah, Perak by the Chi­nese train man­u­fac­turer was an­other path to Malaysia be­com­ing a re­gional hub, this time for the rail in­dus­try.

The rolling stock cen­ter of­fers on­estop rail so­lu­tions cov­er­ing as­sem­bly, test­ing, main­te­nance and re­pair for lo­co­mo­tives and rolling stock as well as other trans­port equip­ment.

“The es­tab­lish­ment of the cen­ter... has also gen­er­ated more than 800 job op­por­tu­ni­ties for the lo­cals,” he said. Xin­hua

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