By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
Jiangxi, CHINA: Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie bin Apdal has set his sights on Jiangxi Province in China to propel industrialisation in Sabah.
Moments upon arriving in Nanchang City on Saturday, he paid a courtesy call on the Governor of Jiangxi, Yi Lianhong at the Qianhu State Guest House where both leaders signed a Letter of Intent to establish a Sister Province relationship.
Sabah and Jiangxi intend to explore trade, investment, agriculture and tourism to generate mutual benefits and promote common prosperity and development.
Datuk Shafie said he had chosen to come to Jiangxi due to its proximity to Sabah and its rapid economic growth which saw the province’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) climb 8.7% to RMB 2.19 trillion (RM1.35 trillion) in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Sabah already enjoys the highest number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Malaysia but as the highest oil producing state and second largest in natural gas production, it has plenty to offer to Chinese investors too.
In response, Governor Yi was pleased to welcome his guests and proposed that the relationship extend beyond trade and economics to venture into culture and education too.
Meanwhile, the Ma-Zhong Friendship Association of Sabah signed a memorandum of understanding with the Jiangxi People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries to promote friendly exchanges between local governments and the people of Sabah and Jiangxi.
Jiangxi located in the southeast of China has an area of 166,900 square kilometers with a population of 46 million and is largely known as a land of fish and rice.
It is strategically located which enables it to connect the east with the west and linking the north with the south. Railways surpass 4,000 km and expressways in the province total up to 6,000m. There are also seven airports in Jiangxi connecting it to places across the world.
Endowed with an abundance of mineral resources, there are 170 different types and the copper reserves of Jiangxi ranks first in China. It has the largest copper mine in Asia and the biggest copper smelting centre in China.
The Chief Minister also visited the headquarters of the Jiangxi Copper Corporation, which is listed in the Fortune 500 list.