The forum, organised by the Ministry of International Trade and e-Commerce (MITeC) Sarawak with the support of the Consulate General People’s Republic of China office, aimed to be a platform for entrepreneurs from China and Sarawak to exchange potential business ideas and proposals to spur future partnerships and collaborations. Hiways Law was honored to be invited to attend and present at the event declared open by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and attended by around 600 participants.
Dr Steven Yu, as one of the honourable speakers at the forum, shared his views on doing business in China. It was an interesting forum with speakers from both China and Malaysia sharing their expert opinions and experiences. We connected with people from different sectors, from Government officials to entrepreneurs. It was a good networking event overall and we hope this will lead to future collaborations with potential investors.
The value of trade between Sarawak and China was recorded at RM15.8 billion in 2017 (Sarawak’s export to China was RM10.1 billion while imports amounted to RM5.7 billion), mainly in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petroleum products, palm oil, timber products and electrical components, manufactured goods, machinery and food. Other areas of cooperation are agriculture, tourism, health, education, construction of mega-structures and e-Commerce. Sarawak had also signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with China in various fields, e.g. investments, trade, economic, tourism and education to strengthen business collaborations. At the forum, the Chief Minister encouraged local enterprises, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to benchmark their businesses against the business model in China. He stressed that China is a leader in innovations and has showcased how digital economy has accelerated its economic transformation. With that said, we believe there will be many who will need legal services and support in the near future. As such, the timing of making Hiways known at this forum is just right.
Over the two days in Kuching, we were also invited to attend the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) meeting with their SMEs members. We got the opportunity to understand their concerns and answered various questions on trademark registration, import regulation and business in general. We also got to meet with the Secretariat and members of the Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (SHEDA) who are planning a trip to Shanghai late October to explore the green building development & technology and promote Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) project to interested parties in China.
From Kuching, we flew to Kuala Lumpur and met with more people, such as the Director of Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI), the Group CEO and team from the UCSI Group and the Director of Business Development of the Sunsuria City, to discuss and explore business opportunities and collaborations. With these links, we aim to build up a stronger network in Malaysia and eventually South East Asia. This may be the first baby step to marking Hiways’ presence there but it definitely will not be the last and we intend to take a bigger step forward! As always, our objective is to guide and service more foreign investors to do business the right way in China and vice-versa by working with the right partners overseas.