Editor’s note: TNGlobal is a media partner of the summit.

The 2nd China-Malaysia Science & Technology Innovation Summit kicked off in MRANTI Park, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (March 6) with the theme “Fostering Collaborative Innovation, Building the Future Together”.

The two-day summit is one of the key commemorative initiatives for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia.

The summit focuses on showcasing and discussing technologies related to artificial intelligence (AI), agricultural technology and biomedicine. The event also features a series of presentations, panel discussions and TechInnoStar Pitching session.

The opening ceremony on Wednesday morning saw government officials, executives and leaders from various technology industries and the corporate world gathering at MRANTI Park, where they discussed the role of technology in empowering various industries in the future.

Here are some key takeaways from the opening ceremony speakers:

1. Minister of Economy of Malaysia Rafizi Ramli

The shared future of Malaysia and China must lie in a third vertical: the flow of ideas through innovation and technological transfer, according to Rafizi.
“As we enter 2024, the year of the dragon, it marks 50 years since our second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, established diplomatic ties with Premier Zhou Enlai. Whilst Malaysia became the first of all ASEAN countries to do so in 1974, it would be myopic to ignore our relationship in the hundred years prior,” he said.

“Ours is a shared past. Historically, one that stretches back to the envoys of the Ming dynasty arriving at the ports of Malacca to establish their trade base. Little did those Chinese merchants know that our trading relationship would blossom to the extent of today.”

“For almost 15 years now, China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner, one that is valued at over MYR487 billion ($102.92 billion). This is only one of many facets that underpin our partnership,” he said.

Investment-wise, in 2023, Malaysia has secured over MYR189 billion ($39.94 billion) in investments and memorandum of understandings from Chinese companies.

“Just as ours is a shared past, ours too is a community with a shared future. With already established flows of capital and people, the search for the next vertical to deepen our relations is of utmost priority. I argue that the third vertical must lie in the flow of ideas,” he said, adding that ideas in the form of disruptive innovation and technological transfer.

“For example, Malaysia is an Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Testing (OSAT) powerhouse, with about 13 percent global market share,” he said.

With such a wide, backend base, Malaysia is the ideal test bed for high-end Chinese technology. It is an industry poised for commercial expansion in the form of advancements in integrated circuit design, Rafizi added.

“If Malaysia’s industries – from agriculture, manufacturing and healthcare – can start playing in the realms of frontier science and tech, our economy will be able to move up the value chain and simultaneously break free from the chains of the middle-income trap. This can only have a positive cascading effect on Malaysia and China’s relationship,” he said.


2. Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing

Innovation prospers a country with inexhaustible drive, and ‘Science and technology is the primary productive force, according to Ouyang. Keenly aware of this, the Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of science, technology and innovation (STI).

In his speech, Ouyang said China will continue to implement the Belt and Road STI Cooperation Action Plan, by setting up more joint laboratories with other parties, scheduled to reach 100 in the next five years, and supporting more young foreign scientists to work in China on short-term programs, Ouyang added.

According to him, China and Malaysia has agreed to hold the 3rd China-Malaysia Intergovernmental Joint Committee Meeting on STI within this year, which will further expand people-to-people exchanges in science and technology, R&D cooperation of common interest.

“Friendship between China and Malaysia dates back to a long time ago, which has withstood tests and hardships. This year marks the 50th anniversary of China and Malaysia establishing diplomatic relations,” he said in his speech.

“President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Anwar (Ibrahim) have reached an important consensus on jointly building the China-Malaysia community with a shared future, opening a new chapter for our bilateral relations. China and Malaysia have made impressive achievements in jointly implementing the Belt and Road Initiative,” he added.


3. Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI) CEO Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff

Rais announced the Science and Technology Park Twinning initiative between MRANTI Park and Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing.

“Our recent initiatives have positioned MRANTI Park as a Global 4IR Hub, poised to unlock next-generation innovation,” he said.

“Inspired by my trip to China, where I had the privilege of exploring the Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing, one of the world’s largest science parks, boasting over 200 research & development centers, 90 higher learning institutions and 400 research institutes. Now, I am delighted to take this opportunity to share with you the fruitful outcome of my team’s recent visit to Z-Park,” he said.

“One of the key highlights of our visit was the initiation of the Science and Technology Park Twinning initiative,” Rais said.

“The initiative seeks to enhance collaboration between MRANTI and Z-Park, promoting the adoption of best practices, knowledge sharing and institutional excellence. It includes program-level partnerships to facilitate the exchange of tech companies between the two countries that will significantly influence the future of technology and innovation in both nations,” he added.


4.TusStar Holdings President, TusStar Chairman Zhang Jinsheng

TusStar came to Malaysia in 2018, establishing its first overseas incubation base in Southeast Asia, Zhang said.

“With a focus on incubating tech enterprises, TusStar has successfully incubated over 300 companies in the past five years, 80 percent of which are Malaysian companies,” he noted.
TusStar is committed to promoting the exchange of ideas and collaborations in technology between China and Malaysia. Every year, it facilitates at least 1,000 companies between Malaysia and China.

In the past five years, TusStar (Malaysia) has organized over 400 mid to large-scale events, including the China-Malaysia Science & Technology Innovation Summit, among others. These events have extensively connected resources from higher institutions, corporations, investment institutions, and other sectors.

“Standing at the new historical starting point of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia, under the guidance of the Belt and Road Initiative, TusStar will continue to work hard and cultivate a thriving technology and innovation ecosystem in Malaysia,” he said.

TusStar will strive to nurture tech startups with innovative and internationally competitive capabilities, and explore the construction of “two countries, two parks” to inject new impetus into the development of tech enterprises in China and Malaysia and regional innovation, he said.

Co-hosted by TusStar and MRANTI, the 2nd China-Malaysia Science & Technology Innovation Summit is also integrated into the series of activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia.

Photo credits: 2nd China-Malaysia Science & Technology Innovation Summit


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