Kuala Lumpur, 3 October 2017: Malaysia has a prominent role to play in China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, Boase Cohen & Collins Senior Partner Colin Cohen told prominent business executives during a presentation in Kuala Lumpur.

China is already investing heavily in the country and Belt and Road projects will see a sharp escalation of this commitment, leading to increased opportunities in the legal sector and other professional services, he explained.

Mr Cohen spoke to a high-powered audience that included Government representatives, property developers, legal professionals, architects and engineers who gathered at the offices of law firm Raslan Loong, Shen & Eow. Like Boase Cohen & Collins, it is a member of Ally Law, the global grouping of independent law firms offering clients solutions to their international legal and business needs.

“I’m grateful to my good friend Caesar Loong, Managing Partner of Raslan Loong, Shen & Eow, and his dedicated team for arranging this excellent event and giving me the opportunity to meet a selection of his most important clients as well as some of his work colleagues. It was a perfect example of how Ally Law firms can work together to extend networks and generate business leads,” said Mr Cohen.

In his address, Mr Cohen highlighted how Malaysia was reaping the benefit of wholehearted commitment to the Belt and Road Initiative – the mainland’s visionary blueprint for fostering economic co-operation among Asian, European and African countries.

“Malaysia is a prosperous nation and attractive to foreign investors. Located at the heart of the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] region, it is an ideal gateway to access ASEAN's population base of 600 million and a collective GDP of US$2 trillion,” he said.

“A Nomura research report two months ago said foreign direct investment inflows from China into Malaysia surged by 119 percent in 2016 and continued to grow at 64 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2017.”

Mr Cohen gave key examples of Chinese investment: the US$13 billion East Coast Rail Link, which will connect the South China Sea with the strategic shipping routes of the Straits of Malacca; the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park, which has already secured US$7 billion in foreign investments, mostly from China; Melaka Gateway, a vast US$10 billion offshore trading port due for completion by 2025; the US$3.5 billion Robotic Future City in Johor; and the US$3 billion Kuala Linggi International Port.

He pointed out Hong Kong’s role as a gateway to doing business in China and its proactive support for the Belt and Road Initiative. He also outlined the “long-standing and deep-rooted” business ties between Hong Kong and Malaysia.