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Reviving Malaysia’s interest in the business of China and India

Reviving Malaysia’s interest in the business of China and India
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By Charles F. Moreira, Editor

Enterprise TV is on a mission.

Malaysians forget that to move forward, is to first look beyond our shores from the narrow and limited ‘Malaysia Only’ view. Fact is, much of what we think is impactful and progressive – is really dwarfed in achievement relative by Asia from a larger perspective.

ETV wants to prove that there is much to be gained by having an alternative perspective to the prevalent western-aligned view we have in Malaysia.

We have observed the relative dearth of Malaysian media coverage of the significance of rising economic powers and markets in Asia, in particular China and India. The Malaysian media has tended to emphasize only on ‘internal’ domestic happenings & achievements, fuelling an ignorance and oblivion to the much bigger things happening at a regional level.

Currently, the majority of local business, financial, economic and trade media are too aligned or beholden to the Western perspectives (read: US-centric, IMF, World Bank, etc). Many editors and journalists are prejudiced against growing Asian leaderships to be better or advanced than the earlier developed world of the West.

They are too blinded by these prejudices to be able to see that there are alternative possibilities and paths in economics, business, finance and foreign relations can be explored and embraced for the benefit of Malaysia and other nations.

One such example of this is with regards to the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).

A large number of Malaysians say that the being built will be a “white elephant” since nobody will want to travel to the East Coast by train; but they seem to not be aware of the possibility that the rail route will bring development to the East Coast (although it may also destroy what has until now been a laid back, paradise).

China’s One Belt, One Road is a cross-region strategy; whilst infrastructure projects such as the East Coast Railway in Malaysia are one of the tactics towards realizing the objectives of that strategy.

There are many other business deals and collaborations between China and Malaysia, such as Geely’s acquisition of 49% in Proton – which whilst not a controlling interest, still provides Geely with inroads into the South East Asia market, and conversely Proton access into Geely’s other markets.

Despite talk that Malaysia is currently being sold out to China, the bottom line is that such initiatives and investments can be expected to benefit the Malaysian economy.

The effects of this are evident in the fact that the ringgit has been gradually strengthening against the US dollar and has almost recovered to RM4.2 to the US dollar (just before Trump was elected on 8th November 2016), when in what I call the “Trump Effect” caused the ringgit to weaken to almost RM4.5 to the US dollar at the start of January 2017; and remained weak until it began to recover at a significant rate since beginning of April 2017.

Also, whatever may have been the negative effects of the gloomy 1MDB fiasco, Malaysia’s economy does appear to be gradually recovering.

Today, the rise of Russia, China and India as both new global economic and military powers which have already been and are already challenging the dominance of that hitherto single pole – the United States and to a lesser extent, the major European Union countries.

The largely U.S.-centric, unipolar world that remained following the collapse of the Soviet Union almost 30 years – or a generation ago, is now coming to an end, as the world turns multi-polar again.

Of course there is a lot of undercurrent that underlies the economic ties between markets. Like it or not, geo-strategic politics is deeply involved.

But as we said, ETV will continue in its endeavours to filter through this to faithfully cover the ‘The Business of the Public Sector’ as what our Tagline expresses.

We will continue to publicize notable infrastructural, technological, industrial and other developments in China and India, such as their construction of high-speed railways, civilian aerospace developments, telecommunications infrastructure and so forth in the hope that these will inspire and encourage Malaysian businesses to emulate them and develop their own.

In the end, it is hoped that by being knowledgeable and open, Malaysia can emulate the best of Asia to achieve even greater things within both the Corporate and Government sectors.

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