IDEAS director: Chinese projects here better for China than Malaysia

China’s national flag is seen outside the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in Kuala Lumpur January 26, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
China’s national flag is seen outside the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in Kuala Lumpur January 26, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — The benefit of Chinese firms’ investment here appear to be more skewed towards their home nation than Malaysia, said director of research at the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) Laurence Todd.

Speaking at a dialogue titled “Impact of Investment from China on the Local Economy” jointly organised by the Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya and IDEAS, he said there was inadequate data to show the extent of Malaysia’s direct gain from the Chinese capital.

“The evidence collected so far suggests that value of construction contracts as a result of increased Chinese investment is primarily accruing to Chinese firms,” added Todd.

Observing that such investment here was primarily in the construction sector, he said the Chinese firms also have an “unfair” advantage in competing for such jobs as they could afford to sweeten their bids with attractive financing offers.

Touching on technology transfer, he said Chinese firms historically do not always provide this, particularly when dealing with small-medium enterprises.

Despite this, Todd said establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with China remained crucial for Malaysia’s prosperity.

The new government cancelled several projects awarded to Chinese firms after coming into power in May.

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