Belt and Road Forum 2019 – Expectations and Opportunities for Malaysia

Speech by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the 16th of April, 2019

  1. When President Xi Jinping first espoused the One Belt One Road (OBOR – 一带一路) policy in 2013 (later renamed as the Belt and Road Initiative or BRI in English), it generated a great deal of public interest and excitement outside of China[1]. There were three reasons behind this public interest, especially among countries in Asia.

2. Firstly, it tapped into a desire among Asian countries to develop economically in a manner similar to China, on the back of significant infrastructure development in highways, railways, airports, ports and other public infrastructure. China’s potential involvement in partly funding some of these infrastructure projects stirred excitement among many Asian countries which required heavy infrastructure development. These infrastructure developments are estimated to be in the trillions over the next decade.

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SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE STANDARD CHARTERED BANK BELT AND ROAD FORUM AND CLIENT DINNER IN KUALA LUMPUR BY DR. ONG KIAN MING, DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY ON THE 8TH MARCH 2019

1.Since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, it has become a pivotal feature of China’s domestic as well as its foreign policy. The BRI has the opportunity to surpass the Marshall Plan in terms of the scale and scope of its ambition.

2. When the BRI was first announced, there was a palpable sense of excitement over how the grand-scale investment plans would reshape global trade and relations. This was especially true in Asia, a fast growing region in dire need of investments for infrastructure. Estimates vary between US$1 trillion and US$8 trillion in terms of infrastructure demand for Asia up to 2030.

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The Future of Freedom in Malaysia and around the World

Speech by Dr. Ong Kian Ming. Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) at the 116th Birthday of Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj and the 9th Anniversary of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)

Salutations.

  1. Before I begin, I would like to make a few disclaimers. I was formerly a member of the IDEAS Council back in 2013, when I was still a backbencher and still in the opposition.[1] I have been a keen observer and supporter of the work which IDEAS has done over the past 9 years in advancing ideas of liberty, freedom and institutional reform.
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