KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 28): Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) anticipates that foreign investors will continue to leverage Malaysia to expand their footprint in this region albeit the challenges and uncertainty in the global economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
MIDA Chairman Datuk Abdul Majid Ahmad Khan said although the pandemic had been a turning point for businesses, it also revealed the need for companies to review and re-strategise their supply chain networks from being overly dependent on one particular country.
He said Malaysia’s sturdy and reliable local supply chain network will ease the transition of global companies to set up their operation here.
At the same time, Malaysia is also positioning itself as a global supply chain hub in Asia, he added.
“Staying true to the ecosystem approach in attracting investments within the country, MIDA prioritises the development of the value chain in targeted sectors.
“It is also to offer long term and sustainable growth prospects for investors to remain and grow in Malaysia,” he said in a written interview with Bernama.
He said MIDA continues to encourage high-quality investments in the manufacturing sector, especially in the catalytic subsectors – namely chemicals, electrical and electronic (E&E), machinery and equipment, aerospace and medical devices; while in the service sector, it aims to attract more investment in the field such as logistics, e-commerce, green technology and renewable energy.
“Exciting new trends within the low-touch economy have also been identified such as digitalised tourism, fintech, next-gen smart factories, a clinical trial hub for developing countries and global online learning,” he said.
Towards that, Abdul Majid said MIDA will continue to be innovative, including leveraging on digitalisation and automation to attract investments to the country.
“In light of the ongoing international border closures and strict governmental standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place worldwide to contain the spread of Covid-19, MIDA continues to be responsive in providing advice and support to the existing and potential investors.
“It is compelling us to adapt quickly to a new normal that has accelerated the need for digital technologies and innovation,” he said.
Abdul Majid added that since March this year, MIDA has launched several innovative and aggressive investment promotion activities to engage with potential investors in the new norm.
These include organising webinars in collaboration with chambers of commerce, banks and international business communities such as the China Enterprises Chamber of Commerce in Malaysia (CECCM), EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EUMCC), Malaysian French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MFCCI), American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), Deloitte, HSBC, and Standard Chartered.
It also inked a memorandum of understanding with various stakeholders to attract quality investment to the country, including with UMW Land Sdn Bhd, Chugoku Economic Federation (CEF) Japan, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC Bank), Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPAQ).
Early this month, MIDA’s One Stop Centre was officially opened to facilitate investors and investments. It also evaluates and approves applications of eligible business travellers to enter Malaysia for trade and investment purposes.
He said to date, MIDA has a pipeline of investment project worth RM54 billion and this is expected to increase further as the economy returns to normal.
Although faced with multiple headwinds on the global front, Abdul Majid said for the first six months of 2020, Malaysia had recorded a total of RM64.8 billion worth of investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors.
Of the total investments approved, domestic direct investments (DDI) accounted for 69.8 per cent (RM45.3 billion) while the remaining RM19.5 billion was from foreign direct investments (FDI).
These investments involved 1,725 projects and is expected to create 37,110 job opportunities.
Abdul Majid also urged businesses to adapt quickly to the rapidly changing technological landscape and the new norm in doing business.
“Seeing that the shift is inevitable, the business community must actively work to build and expand their capacity. In this regard, digitalisation and automation provides huge opportunities in enabling businesses to become more resilient and competitive,” he added.
MIDA was established in 1967 to oversee and drive investments in the manufacturing and services sector in Malaysia. Besides headquarters in Malaysia, it also has 20 overseas and 12 regional offices worldwide.
Source: The Edge Markets