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Malaysia keen to further digital economy cooperation with China

By Ren Xiaojin | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-10 09:54
A Chinese-speaking assistant at Kuala Lumpur International Airport offers help to a Chinese tourist during the weeklong National Day holiday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Malaysia is planning to attract more investors from China in the service outsourcing industry, especially the digital economy, experts said at a recent industry forum.

Hew Wee Choong, vice-president of the Investment and Industry Development arm of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, a government agency for promotion of digital economy in Malaysia since 1996, said in an interview with China Daily during the recent China Sourcing Summit that there are a lot of opportunities for digital economy cooperation between the two countries. China's technology knowhow and Malaysia's familiarity with the business strategy and model are the right ingredients for those wishing to expand their presence in Southeast Asia, he said.

"Malaysia is strategically located at the heart of ASEAN, delivering immense connectivity with emerging markets in Asia. It is an ideal springboard for Chinese companies looking to expand into ASEAN markets." He emphasized that Malaysia was also a stepping stone for Chinese investors looking to expand in other regions across the globe.

Hew said that "there has been a steady stream of Chinese companies coming into Malaysia," including e-commerce giant Alibaba and Chinasoft International.

"We are talking to a fair number of companies in terms of investing and setting up operations in Malaysia mostly in the area of big data analytics, artificial intelligence and financial technology," Hew said.

"Our government has stated their support for the Belt and Road Initiative, especially in driving investment to Malaysia in the high-tech sector," he said, adding that both Malaysian and Chinese governments were focused on the digital economy. "From an investment perspective, Malaysia will definitely welcome Chinese investment."

He noted that more Malaysian companies were interested in Chinese market and have undertaken several trips to understand the Chinese digital economy.

The economies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative are a strong incentive for China's service outsourcing industry, said Ma Xiuhong, head of the China Council for International Investment Promotion.

"By the end of 2017, Chinese service outsourcing business covered over 200 countries and regions in the world," she said. "From 2006 to 2017, the number of Chinese service outsourcing enterprises has increased from 500 to 43,400, an 86-time growth, while the executed contract value of the offshore service outsourcing increased significantly from $1.38 billion to $79.67 billion."

According to Ministry of Commerce's data, during the first six months of this year, the country's service outsourcing industry notched up fast growth with $82.29 billion worth of deals contracted and $55 billion worth of contracts executed, a 17.06 percent and 9.58 percent year-on-year growth respectively.

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