[ASIA] Singapore/Malaysia Team Needed for India/China Competition
- Singapore, Malaysia must cooperate to face growing economic giants
India, China: DPMs
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Singapore must collaborate in order to
face the economic giants of China and India.
The call was made by the deputy prime ministers of Singapore and
Malaysia during a regional conference organised by the London
Bilateral ties between Singapore and Malaysia may suffer the
occasional hiccups, said Malaysia's DPM Najib Razak, but when it
comes to economics, the logic is clear as day -- both countries must
stop competing against each other to stay ahead of the pack.
He said: "We must raise our political will to work together where we
can and accommodate each other in areas where we cannot. We must
build the necessary partnerships to take advantage of new
opportunities present within the region."
New opportunities that may also benefit the rest of Asean.
Mr Najib's Singapore counterpart, Wong Kan Seng, stressed the
importance of being in a position to take advantage of the growth of
China and India. ADVERTISEMENT
Mr Wong said: "The Chinese and Indian winds of growth can propel the
sails of Singapore's, Malaysia's and Southeast Asian's economies.
This is provided we build up an Asean-ship that is integrated,
cohesive and strong."
And one way to achieve this is through bilateral cooperation within
For example, cross border investments between Singapore and Malaysia
have grown in the past two years.
Malaysian companies have acquired or bought into Singapore firms.
There is also considerable Singapore interest in Malaysian industries
such as telecommunications, banking and property.
Mr Najib also welcomed Singapore's participation in the newly
launched south Johor economic region.
He said he hopes that Malaysian casino operator Genting will be given
a chance to develop one of Singapore's two integrated resorts.
He said: "Like the rambutan tree that overgrows into your neighbour's
lawn, investing in each other's future would ensure the fruits of our
labour would be enjoyed by present and future generations of both
But experts say that keeping the ball rolling may be easier said than
Said London Business School's Professor John Stopford: "It's likely
to be two steps forward and one back. There's a long way to go to
overcome mutual suspicion. That's clear."
Nevertheless, faced with a common threat and the dire global economic
environment, analysts say both countries will have to work closer
together and leave their political baggage behind. - CNA/ir