Miti: Malaysia committed to strengthen bilateral relations with US

Malaysia is committed to continue working with global economies for mutual benefits, including the United States (US) with which the country has had over six decades of strong relationship in terms of trade and investment. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Malaysia is committed to continue working with global economies for mutual benefits, including the United States (US) with which the country has had over six decades of strong relationship in terms of trade and investment. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Malaysia is committed to continue working with global economies for mutual benefits, including the United States (US) with which the country has had over six decades of strong relationship in terms of trade and investment.

The Ministry of International Trade & Industry (Miti) said bilateral trade with the US grew by 1.2 per cent in 2018 to RM155.76 billion, which constituted 8.3 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade that year.

Similarly, exports to the US increased by 2.4 per cent to RM90.81 billion — the highest recorded since 2008, it said in a statement today.

The upcoming working visit by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to the US is expected to generate further momentum that will result in greater economic cooperation between the two countries, Miti said.

This follows a trade and investment mission to the US earlier this year led by Miti minister Datuk Darell Leiking, who had “reciprocally respectful and productive” meetings with US officials and investors.

“The decades of close cooperation between Malaysia and the US transcend beyond economic partnership and they form a strong foundation for our future growth,” the ministry said.

As at December 2018, a total of 809 manufacturing projects with participation from the US were implemented in Malaysia with a total investment of RM74 billion.

These projects have created 204,536 employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, for the first half of 2019, Malaysia approved a total of RM11.7 billion of investments from the US in the manufacturing sector, Miti noted.

The decision made by notable American companies such as Intel Corporation, Western Digital, Honeywell, Boston Scientific, Motorola and Spirit Aerospace to establish their operations in Malaysia spoke volumes about the country’s strength as an attractive investment destination, it said.

“This is strengthened by the fact that we have received a commitment from existing US investors in Malaysia that they will continue to undertake significant reinvestment in further expansion, diversification as well as research and development – which further highlights their confidence in the outlook of the Malaysian economy,” it added.

Miti said the ministry would continue to actively engage and collaborate with US companies in Malaysia as well as the American chambers, including the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and US-Asean Business Council (USABC), to gather constructive feedback that would help it ensure the business climate in Malaysia remained conducive.

It added that while Malaysia continued to receive investment from the US, the country must not lose sight of the fact that it also had a strong presence in the latter.

“To date, together with the two largest players, namely the Employees Provident Fund and Genting Malaysia Bhd, we have over 45 Malaysian companies which have invested over US$14 billion (RM58.6 billion) in diverse sectors such as entertainment and resort, information and communications technology, services, oleo-chemical, industrial packaging, furniture and banking,” said Miti. —Reuters

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