Foreign investor interest in Malaysia remains intact, says Deputy Minister Ong

Ong stressed that the investor community should not worry and be assured there were still a lot of businesses interested in making inroads into Malaysia. ― Picture  by Choo Choy May
Ong stressed that the investor community should not worry and be assured there were still a lot of businesses interested in making inroads into Malaysia. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — Foreign investor interest in Malaysia remains intact based on the backlog of investments processed by the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority’s (Mida) National Committee on Investment, said Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming.

He said that the committee held its first meeting yesterday after new International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking was sworn in.

“The National Committee on Investment has not met in the past two months because the minister was not sworn in yet, and rooting on the backlog, I look forward to a good announcement by the minister in a couple of weeks,” he said during a panel discussion on “Malaysia: Where Hope Leads?” at the 4th Affin Hwang Asset Management Investment Forum here today.

Ong said that there were a lot of requests for figures on the current value of foreign direct investment and its inflows through Mida.

Ong stressed that the investor community should not worry and be assured there were still a lot of businesses interested in making inroads into Malaysia.

“From the initial discussion that we had with foreign investors, more want to come in because they see a brighter future,” he said, adding that fears over the country’s future among investors were overblown.

“Yes, some mega projects were cancelled but we are also pursuing (new) projects with long-term economic value for locals and the country,” he said. 

Even though the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) was mired in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandals, he said the present government believed that it would benefit local players in the long term.

Commenting on China’s investments, he noted that for the past few years, a big portion of the investments in Malaysia was linked heavily to China’s One Belt One Road initiative.

“What Malaysians don’t realise is that there are a lot of private Chinese investments, particularly in the manufacturing (sector) and we anticipate more to come,” he said, likening Chinese investors to Japanese manufacturers in pursuing industrialisation in yesteryears.

On the US-China trade war, he said it would create trade diversion and investors would shift to destinations that provided advantages to their businesses.

“Malaysia, in this case, could be an entry point to Asia, China and the US because we have access to all these marts,” he said. — Bernama

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