POIC Lahad Datu attracts China investors’ interest
30 Jun 2022
Investment opportunities at POIC Lahad Datu received its most significant China audience on Thursday through an on-line forum initiated by the influential China Overseas Development Association (CODA).
Mooted by the Beijing-based chapter of the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) the forum brought together some of the most prominent China companies investing overseas and top officials of the state-backed CODA.
In his opening remarks, POIC Sabah chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee reiterated POIC Lahad Datu’s desire in drawing China investors’ interest in the wider resource-rich BIMP-EAGA territories using POIC Lahad Datu as a staging post.
CODA is not only an official organ for promoting China’s Belt and Road initiative. It is also an important bridge between China’s private sector and state control institutions’ investments globally.
This, combined with POIC Sabah’s signing of collaboration agreement with China Construction Bank last April, is expected to provide the ingredients for a breakthrough of China investments into East Malaysia.
Although China has more than 10 years been the main trading partner of Malaysia, and billions of china investments are in Malaysia, these activities are confined in Peninsular Malaysia.
Alluding to the POIC-CCB tie-up, Yong sees CCB’s familiarity with Malaysia (CCB set up its first Malaysian branch in 2006) and it is being widely known among China’s business community as China’s top four banks augur well for Chinese investors’ excitement to come to Sabah.
Yong, who spoke in Mandarin, also alluded to a recent statement by China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, who reiterated China’s interest in Sabah’s palm oil downstream industry, which is one of the focus sectors of POIC Sabah.
The forum was briefed on POIC’s investment potentials by Business Development Manager Veve Lo who emphasised that investment prospects at POIC Lahad Datu are best for its rich resources from palm oil, minerals and marine wealth.
BIMP-EAGA has a population in excess of 70 million. The region has recently come into international focus because of Indonesia’s plan to build a new national capital at Nusantara in East Kalimantan, which is just about an hour’s flying time south from Lahad Datu.
The abundant quayside industrial land at POIC Lahad Datu, its deep water harbour, and ready port infrastructure make it an ideal location for China investors to plan forays into BIMP-EAGA.
The state government of Sabah has recognised Lahad Datu’s strategic position and is planning to widen its global connectivity by way of a new international airport. This bodes well with POIC Lahad Datu’s plan to leverage on its various geographical and infrastructural advantages to turn the industrial park into a logistics hub of the region.
More than two hundred CODA members participated in the forum from Beijing.
CODA president He Zhenwei stated that the aim of the webinar was for investors to find out more regarding investment opportunities in Malaysia.
Deputy head of MIDA Beijing briefed about MIDA’s incentives and success stories.
Malaysia’s Ambassador to China stated that as a result of Wang Yi’s visit, there is greater traction and interest for Chinese companies to look at Sabah as an attractive destination for investments.
Source: Borneo Post Online