HSBC Malaysia highlights opportunity presented by China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative

HSBC announce their belief that China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative should be a two-way street, and that Malaysian engagement is the key to building up the country’s economic resilience.

The Belt and Road initiative (BRI) is a programme being pursued by China to connect Europe, Asia and Africa with six corridors; this is with the aim of increasing trade, improving regional integration and stimulating economic growth.

HSBC Malaysia has been keen to highlight the importance of engaging with this initiative to maintain the economic growth of Southeast Asia, with a focus on stimulating private investment and strengthening fiscal buffers through policy actions within Malaysia itself.

Stuart Milne, the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Malaysia, stated in a press release that “It’s clear that ASEAN and China are natural economic partners. On the one hand, ASEAN needs to drastically improve its infrastructure and industrial capacity in order to move up the value chain. At the same time, China is increasing its outbound investment, especially in lower cost manufacturing, and strengthening its international trade links through the Belt and Road Initiative. China has made clear its commitment to ensuring that BRI projects meet international standards and attract global corporate and financial participants. This new phase of BRI should be positive for China and its partners in ASEAN.”

In the press release, HSBC Malaysia was keen to emphasise the role of Malaysia in the development of the ASEAN region; it described Malaysia as a gateway for Chinese investors and HNWIs who would aim to use the region as a hub to access opportunities in the ASEAN markets.

This comes following the reveal that an increasing number of Malaysian HNWIs feeling more secure in the preservation of their wealth, according to the Wealth Report 2019. The report also projected a 31% growth in Malaysian HNWIs between 2019 and 2023, showcasing the potential for Malaysia to become a key region to provide services to these new HNWIs.