KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — There is no let-up in investment promotion efforts carried out by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) headquarters and its 20 overseas and 12 regional offices to entice quality investments from their areas of coverage despite the flagging economy due to Covid-19.
Mida, which is the government’s principal agency for the promotion of the manufacturing and services sectors, has overseas offices that cover Asia, Europe, the United States, and Australia.
Despite facing international border closures and observing the government’s standard operating procedures, Mida has continued to be responsive in providing advice and support to the existing and potential investors.
“In fact, during the movement control order (MCO), Mida had been instrumental in the evaluation process for companies to operate during the MCO period. Our team had worked round the clock to provide pertinent inputs required by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to grant approval for companies,” Mida told Bernama in an email interview.
Some of the projects that have been approved and announced this year included that of global supplier of innovative wafer fabrication equipment and services to semiconductor corporation Lam Research Corp and global leader in continuous glucose monitoring for people with diabetes Dexcom Inc.
In 2019, Mida Malaysia attracted a total of RM207.9 billion of approved investments in the manufacturing, services, and primary sectors in 2019, a 1.7 per cent increase compared to that of 2018.
The services sector led the way for total investments approved in 2019 at RM118.1 billion, followed by the manufacturing sector at RM82.7 billion and the primary sector at RM7.0 billion.
In June, Mida chief executive officer Datuk Azman Mahmud said foreign direct investment into Malaysia is set to recover in 2021 in line with the revival of the global economy and pent-up demand that is supported by various policies, initiatives, and plans set by the government to woo funds into the country.
He cited that the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) as one of many initiatives that would support the revival process.
As for 2020, Azman said the FDI numbers would not match that of 2019 amid the Covid-19 pandemic that had affected not only Malaysia but countries globally.
Meanwhile, Mida has continued to evaluate investment applications, as well as applications for import duty and sales tax exemptions, while the National Committee of Investment also met every week to consider investment applications for approval.
“As promotion programmes could not be carried out physically due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mida has embarked on several approaches to engage with potential investors since March 2020.
“These include discussions with existing and new investors in collaboration with our investment ecosystem enablers such as financial institutions and business chambers,” Mida said.
Since 2017, Mida has signed 17 memoranda of understanding with various industry stakeholders such as international chambers, financial institutions, investment promotion agencies, multinational corporations, and land developers to attract quality investments into the country.
“These public and private sector collaborations are important to achieve the objective of attracting quality investments which augur well for the country’s economy as the market looks to get back in shape post the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the agency.
Mida also continues to have one-to-one online business meetings with existing and new investors to facilitate their investment projects in Malaysia, in line with the government’s policy to attract high value-added investments into the country.
The agency also continues to focus on attracting projects with high technology, knowledge-intensive, skill-intensive, export-oriented, capital-intensive, design, and research and development-intensive, and have strong linkages with domestic industries.
“Malaysia offers competitive incentives for companies seeking to undertake high-quality projects. The recently announced Penjana lays a foundation for financial support and initiatives for the business community.
“This plan looks to improve business sentiment among foreign investors. Some of the major investment measures introduced include the relocation incentives, additional reinvestment allowance of 60 per cent for existing companies,” said Mida. — Bernama