Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng said China's decision to open a consul-general office in Penang shows the state's growing importance as an world-class city favoured by tourists and businesses.
Lim said tomorrow's signing between Chinese contractors and the Penang state government in what he termed as the largest civil works infrastructure project in the state's history will also deepen trade links between the two.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, on an official visit to Malaysia, had said that Beijing will open a consul-general office in Penang and Kota Kinabalu.
According to Lim, who is also DAP secretary-general, the agreement covers the construction of four major highways worth RM6.3 billion, including Malaysia's first undersea tunnel linking Gurney Drive in the island to Bagan Ajam.
Lim said the Chinese were also involved in the RM4.5 billion Second Penang Bridge project and the RM1.2 billion expansion of the Mengkuang Dam.
The opening of the consul-general office follows the opening of the Bank of China branch in Penang last year.
"The new consul-general office reflects the burgeoning increase in Chinese arrivals by 50% for tourism and business air travellers at the Penang International Airport," Lim said.
He said the new consul-general office acknowledges Penang's status as an international manufacturing hub for electronics and medical devices as well as a centre for health tourism.
"The presence of the consul-general office will also help our efforts to establish Penang as a business process outsourcing (BPO) hub for shared services in financial services, accounting and data processing," he said, adding that the state government is confident that this will mark a new phase in investment and tourism from China. - October 5, 2013.