MELBOURNE: Investors have been urged to take advantage of Malaysia’s Chinese diaspora and vibrant halal industry to penetrate China’s huge economic market.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that in Malaysia, there were extensive business connections in trade and investment as a result of the substantial Chinese community.
“Malaysia is the only country outside of China with a complete Chinese education system available to its population from preschool right up to university,” he said.
“There are also many non-Chinese background Malaysians who study in Chinese schools.”
This, he said, had translated into good links with the Chinese world of some 50 million overseas Chinese and over 1.3 billion Chinese nationals.
“Malaysia’s strength lies in its diversity. As a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, the Malaysian business community is able to capitalise on a wider range of opportunities in China,” Muhyiddin said in his keynote address at the 4th World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) here on Monday.
He said the Malaysian business community could explore the untapped Chinese hinterland markets, especially in tourism and halal industries.
Last year, Malaysia’s export value for halal products reached RM35.4bil or 5.1% of its total global exports.
“I believe that the country’s huge halal industry is able to cater to the 20 million Muslims in China,” he added.
Muhyiddin also said many Chinese business leaders from several countries used Malaysia as a platform to launch their products and services into English-speaking markets, India and the Middle East because of Malaysia’s multilingual population and cultural connections with many parts of the world.
“As we climb up the value chain and technological ladder, Malaysia invites investors from all places, especially the Chinese business community around the world, to take advantage of our transformation process as a springboard to other, bigger markets,” he said.
Muhyiddin was also conferred the WCEF Patron’s Special Leadership Award.