Zhejiang Geely chairman: Proton tie-up great example of OBOR initiative

DUNHUANG (Gansu Province, China): Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group’s venture into Proton Holdings Bhd is a great example of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.

Zhejiang Geely’s chairman, Li Shufu, said China’s economy was at an important transition, hence the company, as a Chinese multinational car manufacturing company, was actively engaging in the OBOR.

“In June 2017 Zhejiang Geely signed an acquisition agreement with Proton and the deal was expected to closed by the end of this month.

“This is an example of the company pursuing the OBOR initiative, especially in car and infrastructure development,” he told journalists from over 120 countries at the 2017 Media Cooperation Forum on OBORin Dunhuang on Tuesday. China’s biggest newspaper group, The People’s Daily, hosted the forum.

Shufu said going global was important but it was more crucial to develop corporate culture.

“The key to this is integration, inclusiveness and an open culture,” he said.

He said the burst of business development initiatives was not just about profit but also involved social values and corporate social responsibility.

In June 2017 Proton’s parent company, DRB-Hicom Bhd signed a definitive agreement with Zhejiang Geely, a Chinese car conglomerate, to sell its 49.9% stake in Proton.

The strategic partnership would propel the production of Proton cars to the global level, including in South-East Asia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak was reported as saying the DRB-Hicom-Zhejiang Geely partnership would see Proton become a global manufacturing hub for the Chinese company’s right-hand-drive vehicles as well as propel the national carmaker to greater heights of success and a secure future.

The agreement encompassed seven strategic areas of collaboration which included Proton acquiring the exclusive rights to Zhexiang Geely’s products and latest technology to the region and to access markets beyond South-East Asia and China.

Under the agreement, Zhexiang Geely Proton’s research and development operations would become Geely’s Centre of Excellence in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean), complementing the various other operating sites it has worldwide.

Malaysia would also become the right-hand-drive hub for Zhexiang Geely vehicles in this region.

This would ensure the Tanjung Malim is used to maximum capacity and this in turn would create new jobs for both the local community and at the national level. – Bernama