KRA canal project will not impact Malaysia in near future, says Mustapa

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ISKANDAR PUTERI, Oct 3 —  The long-envisioned Kra Canal Project in Thailand, if it materialises, will not impact Malaysia in the near future, said the International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The project would take a long time to be implemented, he said.

“We have been talking about this for the past 40 to 50 years, people keep reviving the issue every now and then.

“If it happens, it is going to be a long time and by that time, Asean would be even more closely integrated,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Invest Iskandar Malaysia 2017 Symposium here today.

However, he said to say that it would not have any impact at all on Malaysia and Singapore was not true, but it would not be happening in the near future.

Mustapa was commenting on a commentary published today which said that the Kra Canal Project, which will see ships access to Thailand from Indian Ocean bypassing Malaysia and Singapore, would impact investments, infrastructure projects as well as ports in these two countries.

Earlier, he delivered a keynote address at the symposium on “Asean Tigers: Rise of the Next Economic Powerhouse”.

On intra-Asean investments, Mustapa said the ministry would be actively promoting Malaysia as a preferred Asean investment destination.

Moving forward, he said for the rest of this year and next year, the ministry would do more promotion to increase awareness on opportunities in Malaysia.

“In Asean, there is a growing appetite by some Asean companies for investment in another country in the region.

“At the moment, we see companies in Singapore investing in Johor and Indonesia, as well as Thai companies investing in Johor,” he said, adding that more promotion could be done to attract the Indonesian companies.

Citing Iskandar Malaysia as a strategic location, he said its proximity to Singapore could be the advantage to attract the companies to invest in Johor. — Bernama

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