Yesterday evening, I was at the Topping Out of Core for Legacy Building 1 event at the Embassy Gardens project in London.
It wasn’t long ago that I stood on the rooftop of Battersea Power Station, witnessing a historic ground-breaking ceremony. A consortium of Malaysian companies had made headlines by outbidding the rest of the world to undertake a massive redevelopment plan in the Nine Elms area.
The site had been derelict for 30 years, and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said then, it was “a great day”. He thanked Malaysia for helping get a development going in the heart of London that had been delayed for too long.
I congratulated the developer, EcoWorld-Ballymore, for coming up with such a vision that will push the boundaries of design and innovation. I am sure it will swiftly become a well-known landmark.
It will be a remarkable accomplishment for the developer, but also for Malaysia, as we celebrate a Malaysian company, EcoWorld, in partnering with the Ballymore Group to develop three prime waterfront sites in London.
Works have also commenced on the other two projects, namely London City Island on the Leamouth Peninsula in East London, and Wardian, which is situated opposite Canary Wharf. This is indeed a commendable achievement given that the joint venture is only slightly more than one year old.
The Government of Malaysia keenly supports the private sector in promoting Malaysian brands in the international market.
From a macro perspective, Malaysia’s total trade with the UK stood at £2.76 billion in 2015, and Malaysians have invested in everything from water companies to hotels, and in iconic UK brands such as Laura Ashley and Lotus.
But the regeneration of Battersea Power Station by a Malaysian consortium has been a real flag bearer for our country – London will gain a “Malaysia Square” – and I believe that EcoWorld’s presence in the capital will reinforce the message that Malaysia believes in London.
Malaysia and the UK have strong and historic ties. We are raising them to new levels of cooperation, and that is good for Britain, and it is good for Malaysians who benefit from the mutual investment. It creates – and has already created – thousands of jobs that support hard-working families in our country.
Projects like this will contribute to our plan to raise Malaysia to high income nation status by 2020, and show that Malaysians can be world leaders and world beaters, wherever they are building, working, trading, teaching, or however they are participating in local societies and economies.
The contribution of Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin and his team demonstrates that Malaysians have the entrepreneurial spirit to compete on the world stage.
I am also confident that Malaysia will continue to be an attractive destination for foreign direct investments – and British firms and investors are especially welcome.