SHUNDE, China, March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 5, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proposed in a government report he gave at the National People's Congress, China's national legislature, that, this year, it behoves the country to steadily push forward the implementation of its One Belt, One Road policy, the government's initiative to boost trade and exchanges with the countries adjoining the ancient trade routes that connected Asia and Europe, creating an integrated cooperation mechanism along these former trade routes and deepening cross-border cooperation in industrial development at an international level. The initiative will drive the exports of China's equipment, technologies, standards and services and support further cooperation among all parties.
The same evening, Chinese-language television broadcaster Phoenix TV, in its popular series The Dragon Moves Around the World, a documentary format program focusing on China's international initiatives, ran a segment on the success of Country Garden, a privately-owned property development firm based in Shunde, Guangdong province, China, in reclaiming a large piece of land located in coastal waters abutting the border area between Malaysia and Singapore and building a fully functioning 20-square-kilometer city. The roadmap that led to how the city was brought into existence represents a complete disruption with the way a traditional real estate development project would have been administered. The development and management of the city is based on a model for a green and ecologically smart city that integrates everything needed for both residents and businesses that choose to live or set up operations there. In terms of the Chinese government's interest in the project, the city meets the goals set out in the One Belt, One Road initiative by stimulating the export of Chinese-made or China-originated equipment and machinery, steel materials, construction technologies and aviation services, in addition to bilateral trade between China and Malaysia and development of the local economy. As a result, the project is being highly acclaimed by the government of Malaysia and the international community.
In 2016, China introduced a wide range of new measures in a move to further its opening-up policy, including accelerating the build out of trade links as part of the One Belt, One Road initiative and signing several agreements involving collaborations on engineering projects and projects that deliver increased industrial capacity. One of the positive results of one such collaboration delivering enhanced industrial capacity on an international scale is Country Garden Forest City, located in the Iskandar Development Region of Malaysia, invested in and built by the privately-held Chinese firm. Since the ground-breaking on construction two years ago, Country Garden has signed almost 3 billion yuan (approx. US$435 million) in agreements associated with the project with nearly 100 Chinese companies, including Zoomlion, Shandong Guohong, China Construction Eighth Engineering Division, Spring Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Shagang Group and Jiangsu Yonggang Group. In anticipation of the additional passenger traffic that would be generated as a result of the Forest City project, three new direct flights from Guangzhou and Shenzhen to Johor Bahru, the second largest city in Malaysia, have been launched.
Country Garden Group executive director and Forest City managing director Su Baiyuan explained, the Forest City project will focus on the planning and development of eight industries, including conventions and exhibitions, healthcare, education and training, residency for foreign companies, near shore finance, e-commerce, emerging technologies, as well as environmental services and green technologies.
The projects under development have boosted local economic growth and job creation. Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), said, when interviewed by Phoenix TV, "We view Forest City as a long-term project and we welcome such investment, which, we anticipate, will contribute income to Malaysia and Iskandar on an ongoing basis. Most importantly, the project will benefit the local population in the long run. Forest City will help bring in more investment and projects creating strong and long-lasting synergies, presenting new opportunities for job creation and opening the path for the start-up of small and medium-sized businesses. Such investment means skills, knowledge and technology in addition to money."
The acclaim that Forest City has received from the government of Malaysia and the international community has served to enhance the friendly relations between China and Malaysia as well as between the peoples of the two countries. On December 6, 2016, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak took part in the signing ceremony for the agreements establishing the international collaboration on increasing industrial capacity. Sultan of Johor State and member of the Malaysian royal family Ibrahim Ismail ibni Sultan Iskandar has paid several visits to Forest City. Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy expressed praise for Forest City when he said: "The excellent design of the project itself has deeply impressed me. Rather than just being another new residential area, the nearly 220,000 job opportunities that the project will create are why the city and its model will matter in future."
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SOURCE Country Garden Holdings