The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China presents Malaysia with numerous exciting opportunities especially in areas of strategic collaboration and joint ventures, Malaysian International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Ong Kian Ming said on April 16.
Speaking at the Belt and Road Forum 2019 - Expectations and Opportunities for Malaysia, Ong said there were several strategic areas of focus for Malaysia within the context of the Belt and Road Initiative.
He listed the food industry, joint research and development in the high-tech sectors and the capitalisation of Malaysia's strategic location to enhance the country's connectivity with China, all as means to generate greater local interest and participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.
"Given the popularity of Malaysia's food and Beverage (F&B) products among Chinese consumers, it is only natural that we would want to capitalize on this advantage so that more Malaysian made products can find their way into the Chinese market," he said.
Ong added that it was imperative for Malaysian government to play a major coordination role so to ensure that companies in Malaysia, from large government linked ones to small and medium-sized enterprises, in order to take advantage of the opportunities available.
"There is much to be excited about with regard to the economic opportunities presented by BRI for all the parties and stakeholders involved. We can all play a proactive and productive role in building the 'community of common destiny'".
"This vision of a shared prosperity in the context of multilateral cooperation is more important now than ever, given the uncertainties surrounding the global economy and existing push back against multilateralism," he said.
Proposed in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.