1. Malaysia to send more students to South Korea
  2. Ministry targets RM350 million durian export to China this year
  3. Form synergy between players of large and small industries – Minister
  4. Contamination case critical, all 34 schools in Pasir Gudang ordered closed
  5. European Union calls for united trade and tech front against China
  6. China has the largest number of property billionaires

Malaysia to send more students to South Korea

Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia is keen to keep sending students to South Korea especially in the fields of engineering, information technology (IT) and new technologies. He said visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in had pointed out that South Korea began its industrialisation process by manufacturing cars, something which Malaysia also ventured into. “We also started with the car but we have not done as well as Korea,” he said at a joint media conference with President Moon in Putrajaya following talks between the two leaders. Tun Dr Mahathir added that there is room for cooperation in many fields between the two countries in continuing Malaysia’s ‘Look East’ Policy of emulating work techniques and ethics. Tun Dr Mahathir said that during their four-eyed meeting, President Moon and he also had discussions on halal products and that South Korea is keen to ensure that their products meet the halal requirements. Earlier, Tun Dr Mahathir and President Moon witnessed the signing of four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) involving industrial cooperation relating to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), cooperation in the field of transportation, development of a Smart City in Malaysia, and cooperation in the halal industry. President Moon arrived yesterday for a three-day state visit to Malaysia.

Ministry targets RM350 million durian export to China this year

The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry aims to export 223,716 tonnes of frozen durian in the form of cloves and paste valued at RM350 million to China this year. Its minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said the amount was achievable as 12 more companies had received approval to set up durian processing facilities apart from the existing 19, taking the total to 31 companies. He said the success was a result of the ministry’s visit to and discussions with the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) in Beijing in February.

Meanwhile, Datuk Salahuddin urged large-scale agricultural enterprises to form synergies with small entrepreneurs to open up more opportunities for small businesses to succeed. He said industry players should have a social responsibility to help small entrepreneurs improve their business level and economic status. “For example, frozen durian exporters (cloves and pies) can get durian supplies from villagers or the Orang Asli.”

River contamination case critical, all 34 schools in Pasir Gudang ordered closed

All 34 schools in Pasir Gudang, Johor, have been ordered closed following the contamination believed to have been caused by discharging chemical waste into Sungai Kim Kim. Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the situation had become more critical. He said the ministry took the issue seriously and urged that those responsible to be prosecuted immediately.

European Union calls for united trade and tech front against China

The European Union has called for a tougher stand on China to address mounting trade, technology and geostrategic concerns, a major step analysts say could overshadow China’s relations with Europe for years to come. Following Washington’s lead, the European Commission, the EU’s executive, released a paper on Tuesday which for the first time labelled China an “economic competitor” and “a systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance”. The paper urged EU leaders meeting in Brussels next week to adopt a 10-point action plan, seeking a more balanced and reciprocal economic relationship and solidarity among its 28 member states to counter the influence of China, the bloc’s top trading partner.

In Beijing, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged Europe to stay “independent” in its dealings with China and called for strong ties in the face of increased US pressure. Wang’s comments on Friday follow a backlash over reports that Italy was planning to sign up for Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative and a push for a more unified EU approach when dealing with China. “We believe that as one of the major forces in the world, Europe will proceed from its own fundamental and long-term interests. [Europe] will surely maintain independence, stability and enthusiasm in its China’s policy,” he told reporters in Beijing.

China has the largest number of property billionaires

China has the world’s largest community of property tycoons, as a generation of developers grew wealthy over three decades of rapid economic growth, which fuelled the aspiration to have a roof over every head. The second-largest economy had 108 dollar-denominated billionaires, out of 239 around the world, according to the 2019 Hurun Global Real Estate Rich List. The United States, with an economy that’s one and half times larger, has 26 real estate billionaires, while the UK has 17, and Hong Kong has 25. China’s economy expanded at an average clip of 9.7 per cent every year since data collection began in 1992, lifting 500 million people out of poverty and created a middle class of 140 million households, according to the World Bank’s estimates. That has attracted millions of people to migrate from the countryside and villages into the cities in search of jobs and better income, leading to a surge in demand for housing. “The urbanisation mega trend in China has driven the biggest wealth explosion in the history of world, with the result that most of the world’s largest real estate developers today come from China,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report