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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Country Heights keen to develop resorts in China

Property and leisure group Country Heights Holdings Bhd is targeting China as one of its overseas investment destinations to develop its integrated resorts, says its founder and deputy chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew.

He said Country Heights has been developing its prevention healthcare business over the past seven years, and is keen to grow the business both locally and abroad.

"We are now looking for opportunities in integrated resorts and we have targeted China for future growth," he said on the sidelines of the two-day World Chinese Economic Forum in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Membership cards will be used to attract the Chinese to enjoy this form of lifestyle, but he does not intend to look at the big cities at the moment, saying the benchmark is too high.
"For us Malaysians entering the market, making US$20 million to US$30 million (US$1 = RM3.36) (from the investments) is already very good."

Lee's argument is that China will continue to enjoy a 7 per cent average growth for the next 20 years, raising its per capita income of its people further from the current US$3,000 with areas like Shanghai having a per capita income of US$10,000.

"China is a big market ... domestic demand will expand and, with a renminbi that has appreciated, the buying power of its consumers will be greater," said Lee.

In his private capacity, he has undertaken a residential property project in Guangzhou through a 400 million renminbi joint venture and made about 30 per cent in profit.

"It was a project well done two years ago, and the 287 resort-style country bungalows we built have been fully taken up," he added.

Lee, who is also joint co-chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council, said Malaysian businessmen should take advantage of the political relationship which both governments now enjoy.

"Through these forums (such as the World Chinese Economic Forum), we hope to bring more Malaysians of all races to venture into businesses in China."

The two-day World Chinese Economic Forum is jointly organised by Country Heights Holdings Bhd, Easy Pha-max and the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli).

By Business Times (by Rupa Damodaran)

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