KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 15 — Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap said focusing on labour-intensive foreign investments is no longer a viable option for Malaysia if it is to attract more direct foreign investments (FDI) from China.
Ter said greater emphasis should instead be placed on high-end technology and green-energy firms.
Speaking to The Malaysian Insight, Ter said with Chinese investors looking to develop these areas, Malaysia can expedite its fourth industrial revolution by concentrating on creating high-income jobs.
“Malaysia has an outstanding pool of managerial talent. Their proficiency in several languages and professional skills give them an advantage.
“They have a combination of Asian values and Western values picked up from colonial rulers, a combination that is sought after by companies.
“I believe the investments by China’s high-end technological companies in Malaysia and the support of the people could make Malaysian companies competitive in the global market,” Ter said.
According to the Finance Ministry, the first half of the year saw RM4.8 billion worth of investments from China out of RM92 billion in total FDI in the service, manufacturing and primary sectors.
This is an increase of 7.6 per cent compared to last year’s RM85.5 billion, an amount that is expected to rise in the second half of the year.
According to Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) chairman Tan Kok Wai, Malaysia must welcome Chinese high-end technology and green-energy companies in order to make a transformative lead and upgrade its industries.
Artificial intelligence, the internet, 5G and green energy are the investments that Malaysia really needs, Tan added.
He highlighted Huawei’s global training centre in Cyberjaya and the agreement between Alibaba Group and the Malaysian government for a digital free-trade zone as examples.