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Sabah-China Business Summit at year-end
Published on: Tuesday, May 28, 2024
By: Crystal E Hermenegildus
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Sabah-China Business Summit at year-end
Phoong (5th from right) and co-organisers of the Sabah-China Business Summit pose for a photo.
Kota Kinabalu: The State Government through Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry and several Sabah Chinese groups will jointly organise the first Sabah-China Business Summit with the theme “Sabah: A Future Together” at the end of this year. 

It will be held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, State Minister Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe said on Monday.

The business summit will comprise two programmes: the Sabah-China Economic Forum scheduled for Nov 22-23 and the Sabah-China Expo from Nov 22-24 at the Sabah International Conference Centre (SICC).

Phoong said the Sabah-China Economic Forum would cover a wide range of topics, including the development potential of renewable energy in Sabah.

“There will be about 200 exhibitions to showcase, similar to the China Asean Expo held in Nanning, Guangxi, last September,” Phoong said in a press conference with representatives from his department and co-organisers at the Ministry of Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship office, Monday.

He emphasised the importance of focusing on investment and trade between Sabah and China, citing the doubling of total trade over the past five years, from 10 billion yuan in 2018 to 20 billion yuan in 2023.

“The Chinese-funded enterprise Kibing Group, which invested RM3 billion in the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) to produce and export solar photovoltaic glass, has decided to increase its investment by RM700 million to add a third production line in Sabah and further boost production.

“Sabah is welcoming more and more Chinese investment; therefore, we need to attract Chinese businessmen to invest in Sabah, not just in Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.

Phoong invited merchants from the state and all over the country, as well as any interested merchants and investors in China, to participate in the exhibition.

He said, while welcoming more Chinese investment, the two programmes also aim to promote bilateral trade between Sabah and China.

“Sabah is expected to welcome more Chinese tourists by then, as we are also targeting Chinese tourists, not just Chinese investors.

“If the investment does not benefit local industries, including tourism, it will be meaningless,” he said.

Phoong said the organisers would invite industry elites and professionals from various related fields to serve as speakers.

He said the Sabah-China Business Summit opening would be officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Haji Hajiji Noor.

The co-organisers of the Sabah China Expo and Sabah China Business Summit include the Sabah China Town Hall, Sabah Chinese Chamber of Commerce,  Sabah China General Chamber of Commerce,  Sabah Branch of Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce and Sabah Small and Medium Enterprises Association.

Also co-organising are Sabah Branch of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sabah Branch, Sabah Federation of Industry and Commerce, Malaysian Entrepreneurship Promotion Association Sabah Branch, State-run Investment Sabah Sdn Bhd (Invest Sabah) and Sabah Development Institute.

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