Malaysia's trading capabilities to receive boost from infrastructure development cooperation with China: minister

Malaysia's trading capabilities will receive a boost from infrastructure development cooperation with China, which will also create jobs and draw investment opportunities for the country, a senior Malaysian official said on Tuesday.

Minister of Transport Wee Ka Siong said the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) will come together as part of a smart network to enable Malaysia to take advantage of its geographical location to drive its import and export activities, he said.

The MCKIP and the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP), collectively called the Twin Parks, have been identified by the Malaysian and Chinese governments as iconic projects in their bilateral investment cooperation.

"I hope local corporations will not only focus on their local businesses but also expand their operations overseas. The government will create a more comprehensive sea and land transportation system to ensure that import and export activities can be easily carried out," he said after a meeting with representatives of Beibu Gulf Holding (Malaysia), the developer of MCKIP, to discuss the future development and planning for the industrial parks.

The future development of MCKIP will focus on artificial intelligence (AI) to promote intelligent logistics and the setting up of a bigger cold chain warehouse to facilitate the export of Malaysian durian and other agricultural products to the Chinese market.

Wee added that the ECRL, when completed, will play an important role in the government's efforts to create better connectivity and traffic structure, taking advantage of advances in AI, which he said is the future development trend of the logistics industry.

"Other than that, we must not neglect the logistics and traffic planning. The government will do its best to create better connectivity and traffic structure, including the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project. Once the ECRL is completed, it will create more job opportunities and economic impacts as well as attract more foreign investors to the country," he said.

ECRL, a mega-project undertaken by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) as the the main contractor, will run from Malaysia's largest transport hub Port Klang and travels across the peninsula to Kelantan state in northeastern Malaysia, linking the country's less-developed region on the East Coast to the economic heartland on the West Coast. 

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