KUALA LUMPUR: Citi Group believes that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has the potential to lower trade costs, increase competitiveness, improve infrastructure and provide greater connectivity for Asia and its neighbours.
As such, the foreign bank had recently hosted a business forum for over 30 China corporates in the country through the BRI, highlighting Citi’s broad and mature global network, its strong capability to innovate and deep understanding of the Asia Pacific market.
“Malaysia and China have a strong history of bilateral trade and cultural relevance. The BRI will open new opportunities for more investors from China to expand their operations here,” said Citi Malaysia chief executive officer (CEO) Lee Lung Nien.
“We felt that it was important from the onset to provide you with a country brief on doing business in Malaysia and to understand the country’s trade and investment priorities. Here in Malaysia, we have set up a China Desk in our global subsidiaries group to further support our China-based client clients investing in the country and vice versa.”
He added that the BRI signals a new way forward while presenting a bright upside for astute investors and companies with the courage to harness their existing strengths, embrace the megatrends of new technology, build sustainable environments and adapt quickly to changing global perspectives.
Citi China President and CEO Christine Lam further reiterated the importance of BRI to Asean.
“The BRI has potential to lower trade costs, increase competitiveness, improve infrastructure and provide greater connectivity for Asia and its neighbours,” she said.
“Asean is a key area and we are here to partner with you to take advantage of investment growth opportunities for you as well as to help you through the challenges ahead.”
Citi is the most global bank along the Belt and Road, serving clients in 58 of the 65 countries.
Citi Malaysia, meanwhie, has been here for some 60 years with a workforce of over 5,000 employees.
It serves more than 650 multinational companies in the country, over 35 large corporates, 100 financial institutions and 950 small and medium enterprises.