From Rosemarie Khoo Mohd Sani
DEZHOU CITY, (Shandong, China) April 14 (Bernama) -- The resumption of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project will strengthen bilateral trades between Malaysia and China as well as deepen the existing economic ties, said special envoy to China, Tan Kok Wai.
Expressing his gratitude to both governments, he thanked the Chinese government for understanding the needs and financial challenges faced by Malaysia by agreeing to renegotiate the project.
“After months of negotiations, the Chinese government has understood the circumstances and due to the strong diplomatic relationship established by China and Malaysia 45 years ago since 1974.
“Besides that, amid the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China, we would also like to reiterate that we continuously support the economy of China, which has been our largest investment partner for 10 consecutive years, while Malaysia on the other hand, is China's second largest trading partner among ASEAN countries,” he said at the launch of the Blue Horizon Hotel in Qihe county in the northwest of Shandong province in China.
The Prime Minister’s Office on Friday announced that Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Construction Company Ltd had signed a supplementary agreement that will pave the way for the resumption of the ECRL project.
The construction cost for Phases 1 and 2 of the ECRL is now reduced to RM44 billion, a reduction of RM21.5 billion from its original cost of RM65.5 billion.
Meanwhile, the Blue Horizon hotel, which had its ground breaking on March 10, 2016, was developed by Malaysian-owned company, Farlim Holding Sdn Bhd with an investment over 600 million renminbi (1 Chinese yuan=RM0.61).
The five-star hotel is part of the first phase of the ASEAN International Eco-City spanning 10 square kilometres.