The much-talked about Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park is now officially open for business after seeing billions of ringgit in investments come to life after just four months.
When launching the park here Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said this was the first industrial park in Malaysia to be accorded national status, meaning that it will be driven by the private sector but guided by the Government.
With Malaysia-China relations at an unprecedented high, he also announced that both nations were finalising the programme that will see deeper cooperation and commitment to each other for the next five years.
The Five-Year Development Programme for Economic and Trade Cooperation is expected to be ready for consideration in the first quarter of this year and it will map opportunities for co-operation between now and 2017, charting a clear course for future growth, said Najib.
"Over the past decade, the world has come to terms with a model where China's need for resources has created new patterns of trade and influence.
"Now the world is beginning to recognise that Chinese innovation and domestic demand will prove just as potent a force in the global economy.
"So on economic co-operation - and diplomatic - I am proud to say that Malaysia is ahead of the curve," said Najib.
Chinese People's Consultative Conference of China chairman Jia Qinglin, who jointly launched the park with Najib, commended Malaysia for taking the effort to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Malaysia has been China's top Asean trading partner for five years in a row.
The park is expected to be fully completed in two years and has already attracted investment commitments worth RM10.5bil, creating 8,500 jobs.