Date: 20 Mar 2017
Time: 3.00 pm - 5.00 pm
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room 2
About the Seminar
While Singapore, the US, and Japan have traditionally been Malaysia’s main trading partners, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been the country’s most important trading partner since 2012. Beyond trade in finished products, commerce between the two countries is based on inputs and parts being sent within production networks operating between the two countries. This same trend is visible in investment flows. From a minor investor, China has now become a significant player in the Malaysian economy, investing RM 11.6 billion in manufacturing projects in 2012-15 - behind only Japan, Singapore and the United States.
Beyond setting up manufacturing operations, Chinese government-linked corporations and private consortiums have been active in the real estate sector. Government-linked corporations have stakes in the Malaysia-Kuantan Industrial Park as well as Bandar Malaysia, which will be the main terminus of the planned High Speed Rail. Large-scale private sector concerns such as Country Garden, R&F, and Greenland have a significant presence in Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur.
With regard to infrastructure, government-linked corporations have won contracts for the RM 55 bn East Coast Rail Link, the RM 9 bn Gemas-Johor Bahru dual tracking project, as well as provisions of rolling stock. A consortium of government-linked corporations is positioning itself for the High-Speed Rail project, slated to go to tender later this year. There are also large-scale port projects being planned with PRC involvement, two on the Peninsula’s west coast and another on the east coast.
Looking forward, the PRC presence in the Malaysian economy looks set to increase. In December last year, Prime Minister Najib returned from his visit to China, where he and his counterparts signed 14 agreements totaling RM 144 billion, which represents 12 percent of Malaysia’s GDP. However, this trend has not gone unnoticed by Malaysia’s electorate, with polls indicating a growing sense of unease at the rapid increase in PRC presence in the economy as well as foreign ownership of strategic assets.
This seminar will analyze the trends in PRC investment into Malaysia, particularly in the real estate and construction sectors, as well as key aspects of infrastructure such as railways and ports. From there it will examine trends in public opinion regarding the level and different types of PRC investments in the country.
About the Speakers
Topic: PRC Investment in the Real Estate and Construction Sectors in Malaysia
Loong Chee Wei joined Affin Hwang Capital in April 2015 as the Senior Associate Director covering the construction/infrastructure, property and building material sector. He has been covering Malaysian equities since 1997 (including strategy, banking, construction/infrastructure, property, gaming, oil & gas), and formerly worked for CLSA, Nomura, BNP Paribas, AmInvestment Bank and Hwang-DBS Securities. Mr Loong has been a qualified Chartered Financial Analyst since 1999.
Topic: PRC Investment in the Rail and Port Sectors in Malaysia
G Naidu was, prior to his retirement, a professor in transport economics at the University of Malaya and is currently an independent consultant. His main areas of interest have been in transport, logistics and infrastructure. He has worked as a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Ministry of Transport and number Malaysian port authorities. He recently served as a subject matter expert for the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC).
Topic: Evolving Public Opinion Regarding PRC Investment in Malaysia
Ibrahim Suffian is Co-founder and Program Director of Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, a leading public opinion polling and political surveys organization in Malaysia. He presently manages Merdeka Center’s portfolio of clients ranging from political parties, government departments as well as local and international institutions of higher learning. Through Merdeka Center,
Mr Suffian has been organizing surveys in Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore and Myanmar. Prior to his role in the Merdeka Center,
Mr Suffian worked as a project finance specialist in a Malaysian investment bank and was project manager in an international development agency.