TOKYO: Malaysia needs to enhance its visibility among foreign investors to promote investment in high-value specialised industries that offer higher wages and new areas of growth, said Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
The Minister of International Trade and Industry said foreign investors are looking at Malaysia’s long-term and economic fundamentals when making a decision about committing their investment in the country.
“There is a need for new approaches to promote investment through collaboration with Malaysian companies that have overseas bases and large foreign-owned corporations in making Malaysia a regional hub,” he told representatives from the Malaysian media who were following Malaysian Investment Development Authority’s (MIDA) trade and investment mission to Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo.
The mission, which began on Nov 23, ends today.
Mustapa said Malaysia would offer tax reduction incentives to foreign-owned enterprises that set up operations in Malaysia.
Malaysia has good connectivity within ASEAN and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement could open up more opportunities despite the difficult and challenging global economic climate, he said.
“Malaysia continues to get strong interest in manufacturing as well as increasing interest in new areas such as the services, energy and information technology sectors,” he said.
He also emphasised that Malaysia has successfully diversified its economy from being mainly driven by commodities such as oil and gas into downstream and value-added industries.
He said Malaysia aims to resolve issues that have been impeding economic growth and foreign investor sentiment.
But despite challenges and domestic political issues which have become a concern among many people, economic indicators are still robust with a resilient and diversified economy, he said.
“Our electrical and electronics sector has done well, and economic indicators such as trade figures, current account and balance of trade positively indicate that Malaysia is a diversified economy and not adversely affected by the decline in oil prices,” he said, adding investors are looking for long-term opportunities.
Mustapa said the Halal industry has also been attracting a lot of interest from South Korean and Japanese investors.
The weaker ringgit, he said, has had no impact on exports so far.
“We hope the ringgit will recover its lost ground,” he added.