KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 (Xinhua) -- The wider world including Malaysia has been benefitting from China's 40 years of reform and opening-up, said HSBC's deputy chairman and chief executive Peter Wong Tung-shun Tuesday.
In a statement, Wong said China's gross domestic product (GDP) has achieved an average 10 percent annual growth rate in the last 40 years -- three times the rate in the United States over the same period, and this has boosted its regional trades with other countries.
For Malaysia, which was the member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and established diplomatic ties with China in 1974, has seen its relationship with China growing significantly over the past 40 years. China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner since 309, and is currently the country's biggest foreign investor.
Wong also highlighted that Malaysia stands to benefit from the infrastructure investment drive under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which is evidenced by China's involvement in major Malaysian rail projects such as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).
Proposed in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
The partnership between the Malaysian state of Melaka and the Chinese province of Guangdong -- aims to promote the development of various projects -- will also help establish Melaka as a strategic port and hub along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative, according to Wong.
Wong also sees Malaysia to benefit from the Alibaba Group-led Digital Free Trade Zone that due to take effect in 2019, as the virtual platform will connect businesses, manage cargo authorizations and assist in customs.
As a key driver of global trade and investment, Wong believed China is positioning itself at the center of Asia's economic growth by increasing regional connectivity through its Belt and Road Initiative, which will help turn Asia into the dominant global economic force.
The growing influence of China "could become positive energy to bring greater prosperity to other countries," Wong concluded.