Malaysia remains attractive investment destination, says ASEAN council

20 Sep 2021

Malaysia remains an appealing investment destination, but to encourage greater economic growth and investment, political stability is needed.

This is according to the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) consultation meeting in Malaysia, including business associations representing U.S. firms to discuss Malaysia’s efforts in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) from the U.S. and its business communities.

Within a statement published on Sunday, U.S. ambassador to Malaysia Brian D. McFeeters said the country remains a key trading partner with the United States. American firms feature among the largest employers in states such as Penang, with the majority of U.S. company subsidiaries managed by Malaysians, employing more than 90% Malaysian employees. 

“In the manufacturing sector, the United States is second only to Japan in investments, at nearly US$25 billion, including from high-tech companies such as Intel, First Solar, and Hewlett Packard,” said the ambassador.

“The continuation of a strong and collaborative relationship between the United States and Malaysia and the enhancement of policy consultative mechanisms will strengthen the business climate enabling Malaysia to continue to attract U.S. economic and commercial activity,” he added.

Moreover, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Deputy CEO Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja stated investment intentions and foreign investor confidence in Malaysia remain strong.

He went on to add that Malaysia is the fourth-largest economy in ASEAN and the second most competitive country in ASEAN in the IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021.

In addition, according to U.S.-ASEAN Business Council Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director, Michael W. Michalak, Malaysia reported more than a 200% rise in FDI inflow in H1 2021.

“American businesses are encouraged by this positive growth, and we hope that Malaysia will continue establishing a conducive business ecosystem with robust and resilient supply chains to spur more investments, jobs and economic opportunities,” he stated.

“A conducive business ecosystem would include continuous public-private consultations to ensure that businesses are involved in the crafting of policies that would affect them, in addition to ratifying key trade agreements that Malaysia has signed such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP),” he said.