18 November 2019
On 18 November 2019, SME Bank, as the leading Development Financial Institution (DFI) serving the SME sector and an agency under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development, has allocated RM1 billion in financing specially for local contractors appointed for the civil works packages of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) Project. This initiative was agreed through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SME Bank, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn. Bhd. (MRL) and China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn. Bhd. (CCC-ECRL) held today.
Aria Putera Ismail, Group President/Chief Executive Officer, SME Bank said, “SME Bank is proud to be one of the key players that contribute to the success of an impactful project for our nation building. This initiative is in line with the vision of the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 (DKN2030) which aims to make Malaysia a leading entrepreneurial nation and at the same time achieve the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 goals.”
During the signing ceremony, Minister Lim Guan Eng said in his speech that the relaunch of the East Coast Rail Link Project is a win-win result for both China and Malaysia. The East Coast Rail Link Project is expected to provide 23,000 job opportunities and subcontract 40% of civil works to local enterprises, which is beneficial to the socio-economic development of Malaysia.
In his speech, Ambassador Bai Tian said that the importance of the East Coast Rail Link Project is self-evident, and the relaunch of the project will boost the confidence of Chinese companies to invest in Malaysia and strive the economic and trade exchanges between China and Malaysia to a new height. Ambassador Bai Tian stated that the implementation of the East Coast Rail Link Project will provide new impetus for Malaysia’s economic growth. According to research data from the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Research Center, the East Coast Railway will drive Malaysia’s GDP growth by 2.7% in merely the construction phase. The railway will become an important infrastructure linking the east and west coasts, provide convenient transportation and logistics, promote economic growth, and narrow the economic gap between the East and West Coast. Ambassador Bai Tian expressed his appreciation for the tripartite cooperation and wished the signing event a success.
The signing of the MoU was witnessed by YB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance, YB Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Entrepreneur Development, His Excellency Bai Tian, Ambassador of The People’s Republic of China, YB Datuk Wira Dr. Mohd Hatta Md Ramli Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development, Datuk Wan Suraya Wan Mohd Radzi, Secretary General, Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Chairman of SME Bank, Datuk Seri Nazir Ariff. Signing the MoU on behalf of SME Bank is Aria Putera Ismail, Group President/Chief Executive Officer, while Dato’ Sri Haji Darwis Abdul Razak, Chief Executive Officer represented MRL and Ir. Fang Zhenru, the Project Director represented CCC-ECRL.