Index > Interview
Friday, June 25, 2021
The Qinzhou Speed: Development of the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park and China's Governance

Dato' Ong Chong Yi, ANBOUND Regional Chief Representative in ASEAN, was invited as panel speaker at the International Virtual Conference "Governance of China: Perspectives from South East Asia", hosted by the Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya on 23 June 2021.

Dato' Ong summed up the characteristics of the Chinese governance. He demonstrated a case study of development of China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP) that linked the QIP and the Kuantan Industrial Park, also known as the "Two Countries Twin Parks". He attributed the success of an industry park economy is not merely marked by constructing the parks but by its competitiveness. The strong support from the Central and Provincial governments has made the park a conducive place to invest. The combining factors of price, cost, labour force, logistics condition, market size, industrial and social environment will affect the park's operation. However, it is not a bed of roses for such a big industrial park project as there are many challenges awaiting. Whether the Malaysian partners, SP Setia and Rimbunan Hijau who owns 49% of the project master developer, are able to keep pace with the rapid development plan should the Central government suspend the financial assistance. Both the companies are private and not GLCs. The emergence of the Guangxi Free Trade Zone that somehow relegates the status of CMQIP will make the park further irrelevant in the future. Dato' Ong used three words to describe the style of Chinese governance - "Fast, Precise, Ruthless" or in Mandarin 快准狠. Take the CMQIP as an example, from bare land surrounded by villages to a highly populated industrial park city within few years- Fast, isn't it? Precise, as it is what a BRI project should look like. And Ruthless- if the progress does not go with their plan or is below their expectation, they will lose the support. Finally, He talked an advice for the future partners of similar liaison with China, trust and grab all the opportunities given by the Chinese government, as the Chinese proverb goes 见物不取,失之千里 or to translate to English quite literally "if you don't get hold of what you see, you will lose a thousand miles".

Prior to joining ANBOUND Research Center (Malaysia), Dato' Ong spent six years in China, first as a diplomat before he became the CEO of the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park, where he witnessed the immense development afoot in this country.