KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP), the first industrial park to be jointly developed by Malaysia and China, is on track to achieve its investment target, according to MCKIP Chairman Soam Heng Choon.
Soam said in a recent interview with Xinhua that so far, the industrial park has secured 30 billion ringgit (7.03 billion U.S. dollars) in foreign investments, which is within his expectation.
At least 18 investors at MCKIP came from industries related to energy-saving and environmental technologies, high-end equipment and advanced materials manufacturing as well as heavy industries, he said.
Soam, also chief executive officer and managing director of Malaysia's established conglomerate IJM Corp which is one of the stakeholders of MCKIP, said, "The demand from investors has been encouraging. Our focus now is to get these investments on ground."
Noting that most of the investments originated from China, the veteran businessman sees the high level of interest from Chinese investors as a reflection of a positive development and investors' confidence in MCKIP and the Malaysian government's commitment to supporting the growth of MCKIP.
Although China's investors are the industrial park's main partners, Soam said the management is open to investors from home and other countries, who are looking to expand their foothold and take advantage of MCKIP's strategic location.
Soam acknowledged that competition is rife among industrial parks in the country and in neighboring countries. But Malaysia's cultural diversity, its high adaptability as well as attractive incentives that are doled out by the government have been MCKIP's main selling point.
Investors are given a 15-year tax exemption period by the government - a special incentive that no other industrial parks in Malaysia offers.
MCKIP's strong relationship with the Kuantan Port, a strategic shipping port located 10 km from MCKIP, also makes the industrial park an attractive destination for businesses.
According to Soam, the port is expected to secure the final clearance to operate as a Free Trade Zone by the end of this year, which he sees as a highly complementary feature.
It is also noted that Hong Kong's NewOcean Energy has recently announced its plan to set up an oil refinery and related sea terminal facilities at the Kuantan Port for the export and sale of petroleum products.
Soam is hopeful that by utilising the Kuantan Port's existing and new berths as well as its terminal equipment, the new refinery project will augment the port's throughput.
In line with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, MCKIP together with its sister park, the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park, has been identified by the Malaysian and Chinese governments as iconic projects in their bilateral investment cooperation.
According to Soam, managers of these two parks are constantly exploring alternatives to strengthen their partnership.
"We are looking for more cooperation, not only the joint communication, but also the exchange of technology and industry," said Soam, who believes the further tie-up will also augur well to MCKIP's investment outlook.