Tuesday September 4, 2012
Sibu traders propose China bank branch
By TIENG KING MIO
SIBU: Malaysian traders are said to be facing difficulty when carrying out financial transactions with their counterparts in China.
According to Sarawak Trade Importers and Exporters Association chairman Kapitan Thomas Hong Wing Huong, local traders are usually required to purchase a credit document and bank it directly into the supplier’s bank account by way of telefax.
“This procedure is cumbersome and makes handling of financial transactions inefficient,” he lamented.
However, Hong sees an end to this problem following a move to allow China’s banks to set up branches in the country.
“Our only hope is that at least one of the four leading commercial banks in China — Bank of China, China Business Bank, Development Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China — will consider choosing Sibu for setting up of its branch.
“If we can have a Chinese bank acting as the medium for movement of goods, effective handling of mutual trade is expected and this will create a win-win situation,” he said.
The move to allow China’s banks into Malaysia followed a request made by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) after the implementation of the Malaysian Financial Market Policy to facilitate cash flow associated with the bilateral trades between the countries.
“In my opinion, having Chinese bank branches in Sarawak is of great urgency. I hope such a branch will be set up in Kuching at year-end to complement those set up earlier in Kuala Lumpur. This is a foreign financial service we are eagerly waiting for,” Thomas said.
Thomas made the call at a dinner to mark the 40th anniversary celebration of Sarawak Trade Importers and Exporters Association.
The association’s secretary Yeo Keng Teck, speaking as the organising chairman of the celebration, had expressed his delight that the bilateral ties between Malaysia and China had gone beyond the traditional, political and economical fields.
“This is evident from that fact that there are currently more than 10,000 students from China studying in Malaysia while Malaysian students doing their courses in China had grown to about 3,000.
“In addition, our government has also recognised 820 universities in China while 64 of our universities are recognised by Chinese government,” Yeo said.