Take advantage of RCEP or get left out, consultative council tells entrepreneurs

LOCAL entrepreneurs, especially the Bumiputeras, should think out of the box and take full advantage of the recently signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

“As Asians, we understand our cultures better than our Western counterparts. By joining the RCEP, we are looking at two billion strong population across the region to market our products and services.

“And I’m getting good response from our Malaysian business people, particularly the Bumiputera players. I have also reminded them that if they don’t seize the opportunity, others will,” Malay Consultative Council (MPM) secretary general Datuk Hasan Mad told FocusM.

On March 11, the MPM and One Belt One Road SEA NGOs’ Alliance (OBORSEANA) hosted a 2-hour virtual business forum with the Sichuan business community, led by the Sichuan Logistics Group of Companies.

MPM and OBORSEANA are the founders of Nusantara-Sino Global Holdings, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) incorporated to serve as the platform for the business communities within the RCEP member nations (ASEAN+5FTA).

The Malaysian delegation were represented by two parties, with one team led by OBORSEANA president Alan Hoo and the other by Hasan.

Meanwhile, the Sichuan participants were represented by Sichuan Waizong Cloud Service Technology Co president Wang Xiaojin and Lee University’s Lee Da Xue.

The Malaysian Government officially signed to join the RCEP trade pact on Nov 15, during the virtual 37th Asean Summit.

The RCEP was signed on Nov 15 during the 37th ASEAN Summit.

Comprising the 10 ASEAN countries, as well as South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, these 15 countries have formed the world’s largest trading bloc covering 2.2 billion people, accounting for 29% of the world gross domestic product (GDP).

Touching on the matter, Hasan said that local entrepreneurs, primarily those from the Malay-Muslim community, should broaden their horizon and start thinking big if they wished to become successful in the international arena.

Halal industry, Islamic finance

Offering ideas, he said that China is very keen on two services which has little presence in the country, particularly the halal and Islamic finance industry.

“If we can bring our halal products and services there, one can only imagine the potential benefits Malaysian entrepreneurs can reap from.

“As for Islamic finance, we can promote the various services we already have in Malaysia at the superpower nation, such as wakaftakaful and other Syariah-compliant schemes,” Hasan opined.

Unlike banks operated by the West which only lends to businesses, he said that banks in China take risks together with the businesses, creating a win-win situation for all parties.

“Banks in China finances businesses and takes risk as well, which is why its enterprises have grown to such massive scale.

“People must understand that there are many China-based companies listed under Fortune 500 as opposed to Western firms,” he stated.

On that note, Hasan stated China-based firms are also interested on Malaysia’s biodiversity to boost its traditional medicine industry.

“With their technology and our biodiversity, Malaysians and our friends in China can create a multi-billion-dollar Chinese traditional medicine industry,” he opined.

On a related matter, Hasan urged local entrepreneurs to change their mindset to adapt to new global business realities, especially those who depended on Government for their business dealings.

“MPM is trying hard to change the mindset of these particular business people. Yes, we can ask the Government for help to a certain extent but from that point on, we must become independent and find our own opportunity.

“The Government’s job is to facilitate entrepreneurs and their ventures, not hold the latter’s hand throughout the journey.

“However, I’m pleased that many of them have understood our message; by becoming self-reliant and competition driven,” Hasan remarked. – March 20, 2021.

 

Take advantage of RCEP or get left out, consultative council tells entrepreneurs