Exploring opportunities with China

07 May 2019

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(From left) Dr Xuan, Tan and Ter at the strategic cooperation agreement signing ceremony between Sunsuria Bhd and IAT Automobile Technology Co Ltd.

THE Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing concluded with newly forged ties between various government and private sector entities.

Among the delegates at the forum was Sunsuria Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap, who represented the company to ink collaborations with two Chinese firms.

Witnessed by Malaysia’s special envoy to China Tan Kok Wai, Ter signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese logistics provider Sinotrans Limited to explore business opportunities in Smart Logistics Park and Business.

He also signed a strategic cooperation agreement (SCA) with Chinese automotive design and engineering firm IAT Automobile Technology Co Ltd on the Asean Automotive Design and Innovation Centre for product research and design, talent development and smart technology.

Leveraging the strategic geographical location of Malaysia as a transit hub, Sunsuria also stands to gain from the experience and networks of its Chinese partners to explore and expand business opportunities.

During the signing ceremony, Tan lauded the record-high volume of China-Malaysia bilateral trade last year amounting to US$108.6bil – a 683-fold increase since the 45-year diplomatic relationship between Malaysia and China started.

He said bilateral ties are set to improve further and trade volume expected to increase as the leaders of both nations share a mutual “win-win” understanding.

Tan commended Sunsuria for its quick response in seizing opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative to promote working relationships with Chinese-based corporations.

The MoU signed with Sinotrans managing director Li Guan Peng will see Sunsuria collaborating with Sinotrans to establish and operate a logistics-related business in Malaysia.

The proposed joint venture stands to benefit from Malaysia’s strategic geographical location as a regional logistics hub, as well as upcoming projects such as the Malaysian-China Kuantan Industrial Park, Regional Logistic Hub, East Coast Rail Link Project.

Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Shanghai A-Share Market, Sinotrans is one of China’s largest third party logistics providers.

Principally engaged in freight forwarding, Sinotrans has operations in logistics, storage and terminal services, truck transportation, shipping transportation and express services.

Meanwhile, under the SCA signed with IAT managing director Dr Xuan Qi Wu, Sunsuria aims to form a joint-venture company with IAT, one of China’s leading independent automotive design and engineering entities, to establish the Asean Automotive Design and Innovation Centre.

The centre will be a research, development and innovation hub to undertake automotive product design, industry talent development through training and learning, car sharing, test track and cutting-edge technology services in order to improve operational efficiency for the automotive industry in Malaysia and South-East Asia.

The research centre will be set up to be the main operation centre to import electric vehicles that have been legally modified in China, and to obtain a car-sharing operations licence in Malaysia.

Sunsuria’s flagship integrated development, Sunsuria City, will be the launch pad of the first fleet of 100 imported electric vehicles.

IAT, which designs and develops cars for major Chinese automakers, will look into prospective partnerships with schools and enterprises to cultivate local Malaysian talent and services in the automotive sector.

(The Star, 7/5/2019)