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Belt and Road Initiative, a game changer for the regional economy: Malaysian PM

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-09 10:17

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak reiterated his belief on Tuesday that China's Belt and Road Initiative will be a game changer for regional economy.

"Belt and Road Initiative is creating enormous trade and investment prospects via greater connectivity in sea and land links," he said during Malaysia's National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) Economic Forum.

He is expecting additional economic growth brought by the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) which would be built with Chinese support.

Malaysian state of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan on the its east coast is expected to achieve 1 percent to 1.5 percent in additional growth per year upon the completion of the ECRL, he said.

"China's massive investment commitment in Malaysia demonstrates the real and transformative results of the excellent relations between the two countries," Najib emphasized.

Meanwhile, Najib highlighted that Malaysia's e-commerce industry will shine with the establishment of the world's first Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) that led by Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma.

"With Jack Ma as Malaysia's digital economy adviser, we can draw on his vision and foresight to guide Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on how to gain from the limitless e-commerce market," he added.

Malaysia's e-commerce grew by 12.8 percent per annum between 2012 and 2015 to 68 billion ringgit ($15.88 billion). The government is aiming to double growth to 20.8 percent per annum to 170 billion ringgit in 2020.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

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