KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — The surge in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for the first quarter this year shows that Malaysia has a bright future to boost its economy, says Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng.
He said Malaysia has shown that it has prospects for robust growth after winning the confidence of foreign investors.
In the first quarter of 2019, Malaysia registered approved FDI of RM29.3 billion, an increase of 73.4 per cent compared to RM16.9 billion last year.
“Malaysia is the preferred safe haven because of our competitiveness in the global supply chain. In the World Bank 2019 Doing Business Report, Malaysia is ranked 15th in the world out of 190 countries as the easiest place to do business.
“In 2018, Malaysia was placed 24th in the world. While this is something to be proud of, the government will simplify business as well as government processes further to reduce the cost of doing business and directly improve the competitiveness of the Malaysian economy,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters here today after witnessing the signing of a partnership agreement between EcoWorld Development Group Bhd and PowerChina Group to jointly bid for infrastructure projects in Malaysia.
Lim said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself has called for cuts in regulatory provision and investment application red tape to expedite government approval processes.
He said it is important for Malaysia, which takes a neutral stance in the US-China trade dispute, to take this advantage to become a hub or location for investors to invest in this country.
Malaysia, he added, is also an investment destination for both the US and China.
Earlier in his speech, Lim noted that the opening of doors to Chinese manufacturers is particularly important at a time when the global supply chain is undergoing significant reorientation due to the China-US trade war.
Malaysia has been benefiting from business relocations, as well as trade and investment diversions caused by the trade war.
“The participation of PowerChina will connect and open doors for potential industrialists from China seeking to set up business and operations in Malaysia.
“This partnership between both companies is an example of China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative that brings Malaysia and China closer together economically,” he added. ― Bernama