BEIJING: A one-stop centre will be set up soon to facilitate the approval of applications from foreign entrepreneurs to set up business or invest in Malaysia, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The prime minister shared that one issue brought up by many businessmen in China during his discussions was the difficulty in getting approval to conduct business in Malaysia.
“They have to see up to 20 people and go to many places. This takes a lot of time. A one-stop centre will make things easier for them.
“Of course, the person placed at this centre must be someone who can make decisions.
“There is no point setting up this centre if those placed there need to refer to other people.
“I am sure that with the centre, investments from many countries, not just China, will come pouring in,” he told Malaysian media at the end of his five-day working visit here.
Dr Mahathir arrived here on Wednesday to join 36 world leaders and participants from 130 countries at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
On whether investments from China would increase with Malaysia’s participation in the Belt and Road initiative (BRI), Dr Mahathir said it would, but that it was important for Malaysia to respond to the problems of foreign investors and make things easier for them.
He said China had shown not just its support but sensitivity that its projects in Malaysia created job opportunities for locals.
“For one of its investments in Sarawak, for example, there is only one Chinese, but 3,000 Malaysians in employ.”
Dr Mahathir said aside from dialogues with Chinese businessmen while here, he also visited the Huawei research centre in Beijing and SenseTime Group Ltd, the world’s biggest and most valuable artificial intelligence (AI) startup.
Impressed with their expertise and technological advances, especially in AI, Dr Mahathir said there was an opportunity to tap their expertise for Malaysia’s benefit.
“If they set up a school to teach what they know, we will be able to develop our technological know-how.”