KUALA LUMPUR (April 4): China’s Rongsheng Petrochemical Co Ltd will invest up to RM80 billion for a refining facility in Pengerang, Johor, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“The world’s largest petrochemical company Rongsheng has agreed to increase its activities in Malaysia with a petrochemical, oil and gas refining facility in Pengerang, with a project value of up to RM80 billion,” Anwar told the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (April 4).
Anwar added that Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has committed an initial investment of RM2 billion — coupled with future investments totalling up to RM32 billion — to firm up the next phase of its collaboration with Proton for the Automotive High-Tech Valley (AHTV) in Tanjong Malim, Perak.
He said both Rongsheng and Geely have made assurances to hire local workers for both projects, with Geely agreeing to hold training programmes to upskill workers.
Rongsheng and Geely’s investment commitments form part of the 19 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) which were inked between Malaysian and Chinese companies on the back of Anwar’s official four-day visit to China. Anwar said the agreements carry an aggregate commitment of RM170.07 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI).
Anwar, who is also finance minister, noted that the MOUs cover various sectors besides the petrochemical and automotive sectors, which include the finance, telecommunication, and electrical and electronic sectors.
Besides the business-to-business agreements, he added that five government-to-government (G2G) MOUs were also signed, pertaining to fostering trade of palm oil and other agricultural products, as well as deepening existing cooperation in growth areas including the digital economy and green development.
Touching on the trade impact of the G2G MOUs, he noted that they carry a potential value of RM2.44 billion in exports to China.
According to statistics from Malaysia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, total exports to China increased 9.4% to RM210.62 billion in 2022, while total imports from China stood at RM276.5 billion in the same year, or an increase of 20.7% compared to the previous year.
Touching on the need for a special committee to monitor the progress of the investments, Anwar said the matter will be discussed and decided in a Cabinet meeting slated to be held on Wednesday (April 5).
“We will discuss the follow-up measures in the Cabinet meeting tomorrow (Wednesday), including whether there should be a special committee or not; we will decide tomorrow,” he said.
The prime minister noted, however, that at this juncture, he believes the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti), the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp are capable of handling the task.
“Because the preparations made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Miti and officials are very satisfactory, which resulted in the country achieving the desired results,” he said.
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