US ambassador’s remarks about Malaysian investments his own, says bilateral trade group

Amcham said it has engaged many times with the Economic Action Council, the Malaysia International Trade and Industry Ministry, and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority over the past 18 months, especially in the last eight weeks. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Amcham said it has engaged many times with the Economic Action Council, the Malaysia International Trade and Industry Ministry, and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority over the past 18 months, especially in the last eight weeks. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — The American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) has distanced itself from investment remarks made earlier today by the United States Ambassador Brian McFeeters.

The bilateral trade group clarified that McFeeters’ remarks as reported by Malay Mail do not reflect their views.

“Amcham has established and continues to enjoy a productive working relationship with the Malaysian government. 

“Covid-19 has obviously disrupted the rhythm and cadence of our interactions but in other ways it has also strengthened the relationship,” it said in a statement tonight.

It said it has engaged many times with the Economic Action Council, the Malaysia International Trade and Industry Ministry, and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority over the past 18 months, especially in the last eight weeks.

“The regulatory environment in Malaysia has been and continues to be challenging but by working on key issues, Amcham has committed to our members and government stakeholders, to find opportunities for dialogue and to exchange viewpoints so that regulations can stay abreast with rapidly evolving business models,” it said.

It said active cooperation provides clarity and consistency.

“We may have points of disagreement but by communicating actively we all help to ensure that Malaysia can remain competitive and in a future looking position for decades to come. US investors look to continue their long standing partnership with Malaysia and more importantly, the strong relationships it has built with the community and citizens of this great nation,” it ended.

McFeeters told reporters in an online news conference this afternoon that Malaysia is seen as a good investment destination due to its highly educated workforce and generally English speaking population, but the unpredictability of its regulations were turning off some companies.

He added that this predated the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also said there were consultation sessions with Amcham but it was not as productive,  systematic and accountable as the trade group wishes it to be.

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