Belt and Road Initiative: The Case of Malaysia

Belt and Road Initiative: The Case of Malaysia

Teo Poh Chuin (Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8440-7.ch011


With the aim of the Belt and Road Initiative in search of synergies with participating countries, infrastructure development projects are expected to arise incrementally and will be adapted accordingly to fulfil local regulatory requirements and needs. Malaysia embraces opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative by penetrating deeper into overseas market with the availability of rail lines that will drive connectivity and foster economic growth. The potential of the Belt and Road Initiative lies not just within the infrastructure sector, but also offers plenty of opportunities for human capital development, which made available through technology transfer and knowledge sharing arising from the cooperation between China and Malaysia. While it is believed that Malaysia will experience a strong growth, this motion definitely requires a high level of mutual cooperation, understanding, and trust in managing regulatory, political, and financial risks, as well as challenges involved.
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Background Of The Belt And Road Initiative


Prior of the introduction of the overarching term ‘One Belt, One Road’ or also known as the ‘Belt & Road’ (or ‘B&R’) – an initiative that could reshape the world order potentially, Xi Jinping, the China’s president announced two major initiatives which are the land-based ‘Silk Route Economic Belt (SREB)’ and the ocean going ‘Maritime Silk Road’ in 2013 (Leer & Yau 2016; Lehmann et al., 2016). Figure 1 illustrates the Silk Route Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road under the Belt & Road Initiative.

Figure 1.

Silk road and maritime silk road of the belt and road initiative

Source: China Institute of International Studies (2016)

The primary objective of the Belt & Road Initiative is to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes. The ‘Belt’ refers to an infrastructure network of mainly transport, communication and energy projects stemming from Xi’an in China via Central Asia to Moscow, Rotterdam and Venice; whereas, the ‘Road’ refers to the infrastructure network in terms of maritime which comprises of planned ports and other coastal infrastructure from South China and Southeast Asia to East Africa and the northern Mediterranean Sea (Lehmannet et al., 2016). As a joint effort between the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce, the Belt & Road plan was eventually established (Leer & Yau, 2016).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): Sales turnover and number of full-time employees are the criteria that been used in determining SMEs in Malaysia, in which for manufacturing sectors, SMEs are defined as firms with sales turnover not exceeding RM50 million or number of full-time employees not exceeding; whereas for service and other sectors, SMEs are defined as firms with sales turnover not exceeding RM20 million of number of full-time employees not exceeding 75.

Infrastructure: The fundamental physical facilities and organizational system that needed for the operations of a society.

Cultural Distance: A difference in human values that are rooted in national culture, which affect individuals’ attitude and behavior.

Economic Globalization: The widespread of international movement of groups, capital, services, technology, and information that increase the interdependence of world economies.

Ancient Silk Road Trade Routes: An ancient network of trade routes that connected the East and the West.

Belt and Road Initiative: The Belt and Road Initiative, also known as One Belt One Road, the Belt and Road, or formally the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21 st -Century Maritime Silk Road, which can be abbreviated as B&R, is a huge infrastructure development and investment program introduced by the Chinese government that covers Europe, Asia and Africa regions.

Investment: Distribution of money in items or projects in the expectation of benefits in the future.

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