Belt & Road Law Desk

What is Belt & Road

A road map to THE FUTURE

Previously known as “One Belt, One Road”, the Belt and Road initiative is being spearheaded by the Chinese government to improve trade and economic integration across Asia, Europe and Africa by providing a visionary blueprint for global economic development in the new world order. Taking reference from the historic Silk Road, which transformed the nature of international trade links in ancient times, the Belt and Road Initiative offers a modern-day solution that fosters inclusive growth and development in the 21st century.

The Belt and Road refers to the land-based "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the seagoing "21st Century Maritime Silk Road". The routes cover more than 60 countries and regions from Asia to Europe via Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia and the Middle East, currently accounting for some 30 per cent of global GDP and more than 35 per cent of the world's merchandise trade.

The initiative is expected to create jobs and opportunities for people and businesses along the routes as well as companies and investors around the world in areas such as infrastructure, finance, trading, logistics, professional services as well as good and services. By 2050, the Belt and Road region aims to contribute 80 per cent of global GDP growth, and advance three billion more people into the middle class.

A bridge to NEW OPPORTUNITIES

The Belt and Road initiative is set to reinvigorate the seamless flow of capital, goods and services between Asia and the rest of the world, by promoting further market integration and forging new ties among communities.

The initiative will begin by building or improving the physical infrastructure along these routes including rail lines, ports, power grids and telecommunications networks. It opens up trade corridors and offers unparalleled opportunities to global businesses ranging from multinationals to small and medium-sized enterprises to tap into new markets along the Belt and Road and gain deeper access to markets in the Chinese mainland, ASEAN, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe. For developing and emerging economies in these areas, investment and trade accelerate development for the benefit of all.

Countries Along the Belt and Road Initiatives

  • China

  • Albania

  • Armenia

  • Azerbaijan

  • Bahrain

  • Bangladesh

  • Belarus

  • Bhutan

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina

  • Brunei

  • Bulgaria

  • Cambodia

  • Croatia

  • Czech Republic

  • Egypt

  • Estonia

  • Ethiopia

  • Georgia

  • Hungary

  • India

  • Indonesia

  • Iran

  • Iraq

  • Israel

  • Jordan

  • Kazakhstan

  • Korea

  • Kuwait

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Laos

  • Latvia

  • Lebanon

  • Lithuania

  • Macedonia

  • Malaysia

  • Maldives

  • Moldova

  • Mongolia

  • Montenegro

  • Myanmar

  • Nepal

  • New Zealand

  • Oman

  • Pakistan

  • Palestine

  • Philippines

  • Poland

  • Qatar

  • Romania

  • Russia

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Serbia

  • Singapore

  • Slovakia

  • South Africa

  • Sri Lanka

  • Syrian Arab Republic

  • Tajikistan

  • Thailand

  • Timor-Leste

  • Turkey

  • Turkmenistan

  • Ukraine

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Uzbekistan

  • Vietnam

  • Yemen

Note: According to the Vision and Actions on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, the Belt and Road covers – but is not limited to – the area of the ancient Silk Road. It is open to engagement with all countries, and international and regional organisations.

Why Malaysia?

Home to an estimated population of 31.7 million, Malaysia, among the Asian emerging markets, has become one of the best countries to invest in and is heavily favoured by foreign investors whether to utilise Malaysia as a target market or to set up offshore operations. With a strategic location at the heart of ASEAN, foreign investors often find Malaysia an ideal gateway to penetrate into ASEAN’s 600 million population with a combined GDP of USD 2 trillion.

The Malaysian Government has continuously put in enormous effort in creating a business-friendly environment via its pro-business policies and regulations over the years. This has seen result with Malaysia being ranked 23th in ease of doing business ranking by the World Bank in its Doing Business 2017 report. Malaysia is also a country blessed with wealth of natural resources such as palm oil, rubber and oil and gas which offers various opportunities for foreign investors to tap into. Other factors foreign investors took into consideration when choosing to invest in Malaysia over the other countries are the advancement in technology, infrastructure and politically stable environment in Malaysia.

Its multicultural and multilingual society makes doing business and investing in Malaysia a more pleasant experience for foreign investors, be it in terms of effective communication or adapting themselves with local business culture. Malaysia is also rated as having the most proficiency in English among Asian countries where English is not the primary language by the UK’s Education First. A large proportion of its workforce speaks at least two or three languages. This further enhances the ease of doing business in Malaysia.

Malaysia is also one of the many countries that welcome investors from the Belt and Road Initiative with open arms. Our Prime Minister constantly show support and reiterates the mutual benefits of the Belt and Road Initiative. Below is an extract from the article “Why Malaysia supports China's belt and road” by Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation has an emphasis on mutual discussion, mutual construction and mutual sharing. This is greatly welcomed, and I am confident that the agreements many of the participants, including Malaysia, will be signing will set us on a strong footing for the next phase of this remarkable plan.”

Among the Memorandums of Understanding signed under the Belt and Road Initiative for Malaysia during Datuk Seri Najib’s visit to Beijing on 14 May 2017are:

  • US3.458bil (RM15bil) Robotic Future City in Johor;
  • Low-cost carrier terminal in Zhengzhou;
  • Northport sister port with Weifang in Shandong.
  • Innovation Cluster in China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park;
  • US2bil (RM8.7bil) Petrochemical hub in Sarawak;
  • US1.53bil (RM6.63bil) Fruit export deal;
  • Northport sister port with Weifang in Shandong.
  • US132.58mil (RM576mil) Commercial hub in Sabah;
  • Northport sister port with Weifang in Shandong.
  • Melaka Gateway deal;

These MOU are in addition to those MOU and agreements signed during Datuk Seri Najib’s visit to Beijing in November 2016, which amounts to an aggregate investment value of approximately RM144 billion.

The Belt and Road Initiative not only set out to bring tremendous investment, trade and business prospects to countries, investors and people along the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” and ocean-going “Maritime Silk Road” but is also aimed at bringing mutual discussion, construction and sharing which will in turn create mutual growth as a whole.

What Do We Do

Our managing partner, Dato’ Quek Ngee Meng is a Director of Malaysia-China Business Council. He also Co-Chairman of the Malaysia-Chinese Commercial Law Cooperation Committee. His other memberships include Chairman of the Silk Road Business Council Malaysia Chapter. Our firm’s partner Mr. Thoo Yee Huan is also a member of the Malaysia-China Commercial Law Cooperation Committee (MCLCC). Some of the major tasks to be undertaken by MCLCC are as follows:

  • to assist in resolving trade disputes amicably through consultation, dialogue, mediation, negotiation and other amicable means, with a view to promote the sound development of economic and trade cooperation between Malaysia and China;
  • to establish an information exchange mechanism, to communicate and share with each other the latest legislations, amendments, the economic and trade policies, etc. of Malaysia and China;
  • to promote the establishment of a joint commercial disputes mediation mechanism between Malaysia and China to facilitate the resolution of bilateral commercial disputes; and
  • to strengthen cooperation on intellectual property through joint organisation of intellectual property forums, seminars and joint establishment of work stations at exhibitions and such other means to assist enterprises and industries of both countries to protect their intellectual property rights.

We service a wide range of clients from every sectors and advice on a broad range of corporate and commercial work. Services provided by our Corporate – Belt & Road Law Desk’s team are as follows:

  • drafting and providing advisory services in general commercial matters, amongst others, cross border investment, international trade, securities, joint ventures and shareholders’ agreements;
  • corporate debt restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and floatation exercise on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange;
  • registration of companies, partnerships, subsidiaries, branches, representative offices of local and foreign entities;
  • liaising and arranging with our affiliated law firms in other South East Asia countries pertaining to investment or any law related matters in that country;
  • providing legal advice on law and issues, in particulars, the import and export regulations, land used regulations, labour laws, company laws, banking and financing regulations and etc. The advisory services may be conducted via email, Skype or video conferencing;
  • preparing the necessary documents for the changes in the organizational;
  • take-over exercise;
  • legal due diligence enquiry; and
  • all range of commercial dealings and corporate exercise.