SAN FRANCISCO – As Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak rolled a red carpet for American businessmen, he promised stability and certainty for those investing in Malaysia.
“As businessmen you want stability and certainty. As prime minister, I will deliver stability and certainty for you,” he told the American captains of industry during a luncheon at a hotel in San Jose, Silicon Valley.
He said the government is aiming for sound economic growth of between five and six per cent annually and working towards achieving a balanced budget as well as prudent government financial management.
“The government achieved a deficit budget of 3.2 per cent last year compared to 6.9 per cent in 2009. The trajectory is very good although the country is experiencing a very strong (global) economic headwind,” he said.
The country’s stock market is stable and Malaysia has a lot of positive things, he pointed out.
“We attend to your needs and we are a responsive government.
“We believe in open economy, open trade and free trade. The more we can liberalise trade, the better prospects for the country’s economy.
“Malaysia is ready to welcome you and you will have a good future in Malaysia,” he said.
Najib said Malaysia needs to engage with the businessmen from Silicon Valley, the centre of technological development.
Earlier, during a meeting with American fund managers here, Najib said Malaysia has strong economic fundamentals and a diverse economy that is more resilient than other emerging economies.
He said Malaysia would continue achieving a current account surplus as well as managing a prudent national debt.
Malaysia, he said, wants to be part of the global trade architecture by joining, among others, the ASEAN Economic Community and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Najib also visited tech giant Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California where he held discussions with the company’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams.
The prime minister said he has proposed the setting up of an Asia-Pacific regional research and development centre in Malaysia to look into innovative ways to leverage on mobile technology and enhance learning among children in Malaysia.
Najib later visited Tesla, an electric car manufacturer in Palo Alto, California and tour the 5.2 million sq. ft. (about 483,096 sq. m.) plant for about an hour, being briefed by the company’s Vice President Diarmuid O’ Connell.
The prime minister also test drove the company’s latest car, the “Model X”.
He said the government has agreed to promote electric cars in Malaysia as they produce zero emissions, and for a start 100 electric cars would be imported into Malaysia soon.
San Francisco was the last leg of the prime minister’s week-long working visit to this country.
Earlier in the visit, Najib attended a gathering of the Malaysian community in Los Angeles as well as joined United States President Barack Obama and nine other leaders from Southeast Asia at the US-ASEAN Leaders Summit in Sunnylands, California.