2019 is the year where we usher in the Year of the Pig and on this important festival, particularly for the Chinese community, we at China-ASEAN Business Association (CABA) would like to take the opportunity to wish Malaysians from all walks of life a Happy Chinese New Year and all the best wishes.
2018 was a year of major turning point for the global economy such as the downgrading of the world’s economic growth from ‘steady’ to ‘weak’. The international financial market did not fare much better when it changed from ‘growth’ into ‘decline’. At the same time, the geopolitical situation morphed from ‘moderate’ to ‘tense’.
Among the myriad of issues, the trade war between the United States and China was significant as it not only dragged the growth of the world economy and international financial market but also become the largest risk factor in 2019.
However, we believe that every crisis presents an opportunity, ASEAN countries and local businesses should seek a breakthrough in the realms of adversity. Due the regional advantage we have, this make ASEAN a dark horse as a performer in the global economy.
The high American tariff on Chinese goods will motivate manufacturers to readjust their supply chain. This ongoing trade war has resulted in the reshuffling of supply chain in the Asian continent. Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and other ASEAN countries are seen to be the biggest beneficiary.
Based on 4 key reasons, we believe that in the foreseeable future, there will be more Chinese businesses descending on ASEAN countries, solidifying an otherwise strong relationship, generating more business opportunities within the economic growth of ASEAN. Secondly, China-ASEAN logistic will also witness greater conveniences which will complement our existing trade. Thirdly, the excellent relationship between China and ASEAN will generate further goodwill for both sides. Finally, China will establish more factories and will manufacture goods in ASEAN to be exported to other countries.
China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) has already become a platform for both ASEAN and the mainland and works related to it are already seen in many places. We hope that in every respective country, the government and businessmen will promote OBOR actively for all businesses to be a part of this great project.
The relationship between China and ASEAN is not a one sided affair, it is based on opportunities presented under the OBOR to achieve a win-win situation for both sides.
In this New Year, ASEAN countries and Malaysian enterprises should grab the opportunity to become the bridge between Washington and Beijing. Other than solidifying ASEAN –China relations, we should not neglect the Americans, and seek to play the role as a mediating factor between the trade war instigators.
In conjunction with the New Year, let us welcome the Year of the Pig with new hopes and be optimistic in accepting changes. However, we shall maintain our vigilance in an ever changing business environment. I hereby wish everyone a prosperous and Happy Chinese New Year.