Seize Opportunities From 'One Belt One Road' Plan, SMEs Urged - Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

Seize Opportunities From 'One Belt One Road' Plan, SMEs Urged

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 (Bernama) -- Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and businesses in Malaysia have been urged to seize the opportunities generated by China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative or face the risk of being phased out from the market.

Making the call, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong noted that with OBOR triggering positive response from the world communities, local SMEs should show comparable drive, anticipation and preparation to benefit from the new environment under OBOR.

"This OBOR initiative is focused on building connectivity and infrastructure and we should see it as a gateway to build and strengthen economic linkages to the economic circles as 65 countries are involved in this initiative," he said in his opening address at a seminar on opportunities for Malaysian SMEs in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Mah added that the recent buzz on OBOR and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations offers great opportunities for local SMEs.

"The TPP is trade-oriented while OBOR is mainly on connectivity and infrastructure. According to the World Economic Forum and World Bank, reducing supply chain barriers through infrastructure and connectivity as envisioned by OBOR could lead to a six-fold increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to abolishing tariffs," he added.

In 2013, China President Xi Jinping made a call for joint development of OBOR, which focuses on connectivity and cooperation among 65 countries and 4.4 billion people in China, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Russia and Europe.

The Bank of China is committed to providing premium financial banking services and products to support projects under the OBOR initiative.

It plans to extend credit of about US$20 billion to related projects in 2015, and US$100 billion over the next three years to support related infrastructure projects.

Malaysia remains China's largest ASEAN trading partner with bilateral trade between two countries hitting a historic high of RM363.5 billion (US$102 billion) in 2014.

The two nations have also pledged to increase bilateral trade to US$160 billion by 2017.

-- BERNAMA



Source: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/bu/newsbusiness.php?id=1192167

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