PBEC CEO Michael Walsh attended and spoke at the recent 2023 Global Chinese Economic & Technology Summit hosted by strategic partner KSI – Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific held on 6-7th November 2023. Senior Government officials and dignitaries were in attendance at the welcoming VIP Gala Dinner and Opening ceremony. Chief Minister of Sabah, Yang Di-Pertua Negeri of the State of Penang spoke on the importance of the Malaysia/China trade relations and encouraged more investment flows in both directions now the pandemic was firmly behind us. Trade continues to increase amongst ASEAN nations and China and there is a realisation that both blocks can tackle many of the issues around supply chain resilience and decarbonisation efforts as well as labour rights improvements and economic stability for its people. Technological advancement, AI, 5G and internet of things are all key to the future of both economies. Malaysia wants to be doing and working more closely with Chinese firms to realise ambitions for Malaysia and China to become fully advanced economies and high tech production destinations by 2030. Penang and Sabah provinces what to retain and grow their attraction for inward investment from GBA. RCEP has proved a beneficial trade agreement for both governments. Malaysia has a number of infrastructure projects PM Anwar wants to commence in 2024 and China wants to be at the table offering its financing options, expertise and cost efficiency track record in delivering large scale projects.
Former PBEC BoD Vincent Lo was one of the keynote speakers and highlighted the economic challenges for the Mainland and HK in 2023 since reopening and the dangerous geopolitical ongoing tensions between China and the US are hindering business leaders. The wars in Ukraine/Russia and now the flare up in the ME is creating more uncertainty and investors have quickly become risk adverse and are prepared to sit out for the time-being in many deals. The total amount of climate related financing in 2023 YTD has reduced substantially to its lowest level in years. The whole digital transformation is also creating uncertainty around job security and who the winners and losers may be in future. It’s a revolution that many predicted in PBEC but the characteristics that are playing out with the wars and geopolitics as the backdrop to it, make it very challenging for economists and advisors to guide leaders through all of the data.