Malaysia holds first National Day in city to boost ties with GBA

Malaysia has held its National Day Reception in the SAR for the first time to show that Macau has a “significant role to play between Malaysia and the Greater Bay Area.”

Hosted by the Malaysian Consulate in Hong Kong and Macau, and co-organized by the Macao Malaysian Chamber of Commerce, the event commemorates the 60th Anniversary of Malaysia Day.

Speaking at the reception, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Datuk Mohomad Alamin, said that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between Malaysia and China.

He called for further cooperation, particularly in the economic and tourism sector.

Echoing similar sentiments, Kelvin Tan, deputy standing chairperson of the Macao ASEAN International Chamber of Commerce, said that Malaysia serves as a “great gateway” to the ASEAN countries, adding that there are people in Macau investing in properties and receiving a 10-year visa.

“Any trade that promotes trilateral partnership between Lusophone countries, Malaysia and Macau into GBA [will be good for business]. We are also looking into conventions, and exhibitions,” said Tan.

“In fact, we are doing quite a few flights with AirAsia. We are [also] planning a possible Penang or Johor Bahru direct flights to Malaysia,” he added.

Questioned by the Times on when these would take effect, the chairman said that “it could come very soon” if it works with travel agencies in both regions.

According to him, they would work with gaming operators to “aggressively promote” the flights as it is also a cheaper route to Singapore.

Johor Bahru is a 30-minute ferry ride from the island.

The local government has been publicizing the fact that, in the coming years, the GBA and the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin will create further opportunities for Macau and the international companies that partner with Macau’s territory.

However, Tan believes that Macau needs more air connections, particularly to the ASEAN countries.

“I think our place as a tourism and shopping d will be enhanced if we have better connections with ASEAN,” said Tan.

Bilateral economic relations ‘promising’

Speaking at the reception, Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong recalled that in recent years, Macau and Malaysia have further reinforced cooperation in tourism, trade, conventions, and exhibitions.

“We are close business and trading partners. […] I would like to invite more Malaysian companies to join us in Macau,” said Lei.

“The outlook for bilateral economic relations is promising, promoting friendly cooperation between Macau and Malaysia,” he added.

Categories Headlines Macau