It’s been almost two decades since the Beijing-based Malaysian community set up an informal association to facilitate business and networking for Malaysian people in China.
After formation of the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or MAYCHAM China, the Shanghai office opened in 2006 to assist the Malaysian business community in China’s eastern coastal area.
Lee Yik Choong, chairman of the Shanghai chapter of MAYCHAM China, is also the president and managing director of a locally incorporated service provider for semiconductor packaging and testing called STATS ChipPAC China Ltd.
He tells Shanghai Daily that most of his co-workers at the chamber are also active business entrepreneurs and executives in their communities.
In January, Lee became chairman of the chamber, a two-year term. He previously served as vice chairman.
Prior to STATS ChipPAC, Lee held various senior management positions at Intel Corp, including general manager of Intel’s CPU assembly and test factory in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province. He started the first Intel CPU factory in Shanghai back in 2002.
During an interview last week with Shanghai Daily, Lee shared the MAYCHAM China’s vision that diversity will generate great opportunities and new scope for Malaysian and Chinese business.
Q: Starting from 2006, MAYCHAM Shanghai supported Malaysian businesses not only in Shanghai but also in neighboring provinces such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui.
A: Yes, we have around 300 members, including 80-plus corporate members and 200-plus individual members. Membership includes companies and people from all walks of life, such as food, retail, trading, tourism, property development and construction. Membership is not limited to Malaysians.
Q: How does the chamber facilitate networking among Malaysian businesses in China?
A: We are a non-profit organization. Our mainstream income is through membership. Our goal is to establish partnership with local government authorities and associations to improve the platform and benefits for our members.
We also aim to become the partner of companies and organizations that can leverage our network for their own benefits. They can obtain some constant income and sustainable growth through our network.
We have a lunch gathering every week, where people can look for business opportunities and share experience with others.
Q: How does the chamber promote bilateral trade?
A: Our goal is to strengthen the ties between the two countries. Policy relaxation will help the business associations of the two countries. So there are growing opportunities for both sides.
We cooperate with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation under the Consulate General of Malaysia, which is known as MATRADE, to promote Malaysian products, services in China, as well as investment in Shanghai.
Q: How can stronger ties promote mutual growth?
A: China is on track to globalize its business operations, while Malaysia is one of the most important destinations in Asia. Of course China is a much bigger market than Malaysia.
So doing business with China helps Malaysian companies become global. Parkson Retail is a great example. It is the biggest operator of department stores on China’s mainland.