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Friday, November 30, 2018

DR M’S GOOD TIES WITH JACK MA PAYS OFF: CHINA’S BILLIONAIRES CLUB, OFTEN DUBBED AS ITS 2ND FOREIGN MINISTRY, GIVES MAHATHIR THE THUMBS UP AFTER MEETING IN KL

A POWERFUL group of Chinese industrialists has welcomed Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s assurance that the new Pakatan Harapan government is friendly to investors, including those from China.
Key representatives of the China Entrepreneur Club (CEC), which gathers some of the country’s richest and most influential capitalists, met Dr Mahathir on November 27 on the sidelines of a business and investment conference in Kuala Lumpur.
Cooperation and investment opportunities were the primary topics discussed in the meeting.
More importantly, the prime minister had acknowledged China possessed state of the art technology and assured the Chinese business leaders that direct investments were welcome, said CEC director Wang Ruoxiong, who also leads the influential pressure group China Real Estate Association.

Wang said Dr Mahathir was friendly, open and willing to listen to their requests during the meeting.
In August, Dr Mahathir had attended the CEC forum in Beijing, where the group sought clarification on Putrajaya’s stance on Chinese investments following a highly-publicised review of several mega development projects backed by China.
However, Wang said many Chinese had remained doubtful of Putrajaya’s attitude due a limited knowledge of the Malaysian economy and laws.
Last week’s meeting with Dr Mahathir, said Wang, had helped dispel those doubts.
Foreigners are prohibited from investing in property in Johor's Forest City, a Chinese development. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, December 1, 2018.
Foreigners are prohibited from investing in property in Johor’s Forest City, a Chinese development. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, December 1, 2018.
The scrapping of the East Coast Rail Link and two natural gas pipeline projects, and the prohibition against foreigners buying units in Forest City in Johor had led many Chinese businesses to hold back on investing in Malaysia.
Putrajaya has attempted to soften its image, claiming that it remains open to foreign investments and that it had scrapped several projects because they were too expensive in the face of a RM1 trillion national debt.
The CEC is referred to as China’s “second foreign ministry” due to the influence it is believed to exert over Beijing. The group is made up 60 members who are business leaders, economists and diplomats in 2006, whose combined annual incomes total about CN¥4 trillion (RM234 billion). The group is headed by AliBaba Group founder Jack Ma.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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