Malaysia and China have been strengthening ties after Malaysia resumed two China-linked projects worth billions of dollars this year. The two sides are now expecting a fresh stream of economic projects. This announcement followed the convening of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a report noted.
One of the MoUs under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) solidified that Malaysia and Pakistan will build an auto factory in Pakistan. The project will be funded by China Construction Bank and will use Chinese technology.
The construction is scheduled to begin imminently. This is the first industrial cooperative project between Malaysia and Pakistan. Previously, the two nations only engaged in trade. Malaysia’s national carmaker will build the factory in Pakistan; 49 per cent of the carmaker is owned by a Chinese tech firm.
A Malaysian government official noted that Chinese projects affect ordinary citizens, and most of them are already in. They have no issues; more Chinese investment in Malaysia is expected.
Over the last 15 years, Malaysia has engaged in more exchanges in the cultural, youth, sports and economic areas so that people can better understand each other. So far, people-to-people exchanges between the two countries are good.
Malaysian youth enjoy going to to go to China for two reasons: They like to learn and see for themselves Chinese development. And most of the feedback that we received from them is they have learned a lot about China’s technological advancement and e-commerce that they are very interested in.
The official noted that the Malaysian Prime Minister is focusing on technology as the key to development and transformation.
Traditionally, Malaysia has relied on the palm oil industry for most of its income. Hence, the PM stated that Malaysia needs to have a technological platform.
To ensure this, the Prime Minister has decided to partner with China, securing several solid partnerships with firms from the nation. In particular, the nation has partnered with a massive telecom firm in China. Its second partner is one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms. Malaysia aims to partner with this firm in artificial intelligence (AI); China is one of the leading centres of AI.
According to an earlier report by OpenGov Asia, technology is shaping the Malaysian economy. Against this backdrop, the Malaysian government has embarked on a slew of initiatives to spur the digital economy, such as promoting technology adoption among businesses and encouraging digital entrepreneurship – efforts that are starting to pay off.
Malaysia in the league of high-income economies with high adoption of digital technology. The country also ranks higher than roughly a third of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
In addition to building high-quality infrastructure at affordable prices, technology is inspiring the focus on four additional building blocks – boosting tech talent development, increasing cybersecurity vigilance, developing platforms and enablers, and to put in place upgraded legislation and policies to speed up the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy.
As Malaysia moves into this new digital economy, choosing partners will be a deciding factor for the success of the aims of the country. China is an obvious choice for this goal, as the region possesses some of the world’s most efficient and technologically advanced workforce and firms.
It is expected that both nations will see the partnerships be fruitful and productive, driven by advanced techs such as AI and machine learning.