Congratulatory Remarks By Mr. Nik Mohamed Din Bin Nik Musa, Director-General of Labuan FSA at the Into Labuan IBFC- Labuan Investment Cooperation Forum by China Construction Bank Corporation

30th June 2022 

Congratulatory Remarks By

Mr Nik Mohamed Din Bin Nik Musa
Director-General, Labuan FSA

Miss Jhang Peidong, Minister Counselor of the Malaysia's Embassy of the People's Republic of China

Ms. Soon Jee-en-bo, General Manager of International Department of China Construction Bank Corporation

Mr. Wang Chi-Jie, Principal Officer of China Construction Labuan Branch

Datuk Iskandar Mohd Nuli, Exec. Chairman Labuan IBFC Inc

Chairmen of Associations,

Ladies and gentlemen, a very good afternoon [or Sia-wu-hao].

1. First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to China Construction Bank Corporation, Labuan Branch (CCB Labuan) and China Construction Bank Malaysia (CCB Malaysia) for inviting me to be here today and to be part of this auspicious event. I was informed that today's event, namely "Into Labuan IBFC - Labuan Investment Cooperation Forum 2022," is a collaboration between CCB Head Office and 1seven core branches in China. I understand there are those who are joining virtually together with their potential customers. I hope that one day, once the pandemic has ended, we will be able to meet in person, and you are more than welcome to visit the island of Labuan, also known as the Pearl of Borneo.

Ladies and gentlemen,

2. Allow me to do some recap of the previous year's industry performance. Despite the pandemic situation, the business and financial services sectors in the Labuan IBFC have recorded positive growth in 2021, with key business sectors maintaining profitability. As one of the Centre's core businesses, the banking industry saw a 128 percent increase in profits for 2021, rising from USD120 million of the previous year to USD274 million. The industry remained resilient and financially sound, with sufficient liquidity. As the regional economy recovers, the Labuan banking industry has begun to show signs of recovery, as evident by increased in financing and investment activity.

3. Labuan FSA is committed to further developing the value proposition of Labuan IBFC. In moving forward, we have recently developed a strategic blueprint, that is the Labuan IBFC Strategic Roadmap 2022-2026 which the Minister of Finance of Malaysia has officially launched two weeks ago. It was an exciting event with approximately 200 guests in attendance, and it was a pleasure to meet some of you at the launching ceremony. I am pleased to share that the launch of the Labuan IBFC Strategic Roadmap will outline the next chapter of growth and create a more sustainable and conducive Centre for international business. The Strategic Roadmap will focus on:
  1. Firstly, digitalisation to diversify into innovative businesses;
  2. Secondly, promote unique self-insurance or captives structures and revitalising niche sectors, including Islamic finance business;
  3. Thirdly, promote the island’s economic vibrancy through intra-Labuan business synergy; and
  4. Finally, in tandem with the changing international business landscape, modernise the regulatory and supervisory approach.

4. It is envisaged that Labuan will play a significant role as a fund raising and investment hub in the global digital space, with a niche on ESG (evironment, social and governance) and Shariah compliant. New players namely the digital assets and fintech players are interested to be part of this exciting emerging market. Labuan is underpinned by a comprehensive set of laws and regulations governing both the conventional and Islamic financial services under two separate Labuan financial services and securities Acts.

5. Made possible today by the availability of virtual listing using blockchain technology, global investors who are looking for an array of ESG and Shariah compliant investment products can look to Labuan where those seeking funds can raise via securities token offering (STO) otherwise known as asset or commodity-backed token such as gold, real estate and carbon credit. Labuan can become the gateway for Islamic Digital Asset Centre or in short, IDAC, targeting primarily “out-out” business. Towards this end, I am pleased to announce that IDAC is on track to launch its first Islamic/ESG Digital Exchange in Labuan by third quarter of 2022, possibly to be the world’s first Islamic digital exchange. In particular, fund raisers or fund arrangers interested to tap the ESG and Islamic investors can leverage on IDAC in Labuan.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

6. I would like to reiterate that the launch of the Labuan IBFC Strategic Roadmap is timely, as Malaysia has signed the historic Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement on 15 November 2020 with 14 other participating countries of RCEP, which is the largest free-trade agreement (FTA) in the world. The Agreement has come into force on 18 March 2022 and in this regard, Labuan as the international business and financial centre with its unique geographical advantages, will further attract the attention and interest of global investors and financial institutions. In addition, it will leverage on its geographical location and ride on the vigorous development of bilateral trade and investment as well as cross-border RMB business between China and Malaysia and Labuan.

7. 2China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, with bilateral trade hitting a record high US$176.8 billion last year (2021). It was reaffirmed by the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia that the bilateral trade volume increased by 19.7 per cent year-on-year to US$61.6 billion in the first four months of this year (2022), marking a double-digit increase in trade volume for 17 consecutive months. Malaysia's total trade volume with China reached US$176.8 billion (about RM740 billion) last year, with a 34.5 per cent year-on-year growth, involving 43 manufacturing projects with investments worth almost US$4 billion that would generate nearly 14,000 employment opportunities in the country.

8. China is expected to continue with the opening-up policy and high-quality economic development mode, which will give strong confidence and impetus to world economic development. China’s entry into the RCEP is another impetus for the Asia Pacific economic development, which will bring about new sectors and business models to our bilateral cooperation. It will spur more economic activities and accelerate the post-pandemic economic recovery for the long-term.

9. In this regard, I would like to applaud CCB for taking a pro-active initiative on establishing a Smart Matchmaking Platform, which integrates domestic and overseas, multi-channel and multi-dimensional data, to facilitate accurate data matching. This bodes well with the Labuan IBFC aspiration under the Strategic Roadmap, which has always intended to broaden its products and services to investors, business corporations, and individuals in the region, including the China market. Currently, there are 183 companies and licensed institutions originating from China. We hope that this matchmaking platform will pave the way for more cross border presence.

10. I strongly believe that the CCB match plus will establish a strategic foothold in the region by optimising business opportunities through its diverse range of products and services. This platform will be able to provide customers with a competitive edge through its intelligent and comprehensive cross-border ecosystem with domestic and overseas layout, online and offline integration, and financial and non-financial connectivity. Simultaneously, it will entice additional market participants from all parts of the world to use CCB Match plus as a platform for business match-making purposes.

11. I'm extremely delighted to be present at this historic occasion, noting that Labuan IBFC will be the first ever jurisdiction to sign up for this platform. With Labuan IBFC’s participation, we will have the access to about 200 thousand verified business entities from all around the world, originating from 48 countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

12. Given the fierce global competition and uncertain economic environment, intensified by the pandemic situation, we intend to diversify our business by establishing innovative businesses, expanding our scope of operations, and streamlining operational requirements, exploring new niches, and generating internal growth via intra-Labuan businesses. This includes revitalising the banking and capital markets of Labuan through digital solutions and enhancing the digital environment at Labuan IBFC.

13. On that note, on behalf of Labuan FSA, allow me to congratulate CCB on the successful coordination of this event- ‘Into Labuan IBFC - Labuan Investment Cooperation Forum 2022’. We believe that this significant milestone will usher in a new and exciting chapter for the Labuan IBFC, and we are pleased to share this momentous occasion, with you. Good luck or Jhu ni hao yuen in your forum. Thank you.

Mr Nik Mohamed Din Bin Nik Musa
Director-General, Labuan FSA

1 CCB Shenzhen, CCB Zhejiang, CCB Guangdong, CCB Shanghai, CCB Guangxi, CCB Qingdao, CCB Ningbo


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