It was a solemn 31 March 2021 in MIDA Sentral as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) bade farewell to YBhg. Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MIDA. Dato’ Azman, having spent 32 pivotal years in MIDA, was a well regarded leader known for his drive to promote investments into Malaysia.
He has been instrumental in building Malaysia’s business ecosystems, facilitating industrial development and promoting investments in line with the country’s national investment aspirations. The ultimate objective is to position Malaysia as a preferred investment destination in the region and beyond given our country’s strategic value propositions and potential business opportunities.
A Glimpse of Achievements
During Dato’ Azman’s leadership, MIDA has actively advised on, recommended and implemented policies, strategies and directions for Malaysia’s manufacturing and services sectors. Working together will all levels of stakeholders including governmental counterparts, foreign and local business communities as well as academia and training partners, MIDA has consistently achieved yearly investment targets of RM200 billion between 2014 to 2019.
Furthermore, MIDA has received several accolades in recognition of its contribution to the country’s development. Notably, MIDA’s excellence garnered the Top Investment Promotion Agency award in the Asia Pacific National category by Site Selection magazine, a US-based international business publication, in 2015, 2016 and 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented unanticipated challenges for MIDA; however, Dato’ Azman at the helm, helped MIDA and the industry stakeholders navigate the uncertainties together with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. MIDA was instrumental in the evaluation process during the initial Movement Control Order implementation and provided pertinent inputs for the drafting of policies and strategies in the Government’s plan to revive Malaysia’s economy to ensure that the nation’s industries remain sustainable and the livelihoods of people are protected. Dato’ Azman has also led MIDA to actively reengineering MIDA’s business processes to keep up with innovative and agile ways of working in this age of digitisation. The increased efficiency of the various functions of the organisation will enhance core business activities and visibility as well as strengthen the strategic planning and policy advocacy capacity.
This was particularly crucial during the pandemic as MIDA remained resilient and responsive in providing advice and support to the existing and potential investors despite the international border closures and restrictions in movement and gathering imposed.
In 2020, MIDA successfully held over 500 online engagements with local and foreign stakeholders to update on the latest policy changes due to the pandemic through various online platforms and digital tools to ease investors and sustain confidence in Malaysia during the challenging time.
Moreover, on 23 March 2021, the Business Travellers’ Centre in KLIA was launched as part of the One Stop Centre (OSC) initiative by MIDA to ease the movement of business travellers during the pandemic by expediting the approval of their entry into Malaysia, as Malaysia embarks on the path of revitalisation.
This Centre assumes a critical role in ensuring that Malaysia remains steady on the path of economic recovery and growth by enabling business travellers’ movement to do their business in Malaysia during the pandemic.
Most recently on 26 March 2021, MIDA’s InvestMalaysia Portal went live to the public. Serving as a single entry point for the stakeholders by offering 10 modules for online application submission, the portal focuses to transform MIDA’s core business functions towards improved efficiency and productivity by embracing an integrated technology system to expedite the application and approval process and further allow companies to speed-up project implementation.
The Legacy Continues
Effective 1 April 2021, Mr. Arham Abdul Rahman, former Deputy CEO I of MIDA has stepped up to the role of the new CEO. He has an outstanding track record and highly distinguished career spanning over three decades with MIDA. He has served primarily in the foreign investment arm of the organisation, with years of service in Germany and the USA. His experience as a MIDA frontliner for attracting and facilitating foreign investments into the country, gives him the unique proposition to lead MIDA in the new norm.
With the appointment of Mr. Arham, the priority to ensure Malaysia is ‘open for business’ and investments remains intact. The newly appointed CEO is poised to lead MIDA towards further excellence. MIDA pledges its continual commitment to build dynamic and sustainable investment ecosystems, making Malaysia the pre eminent preferred investment destination for both local and foreign businesses.
All MIDA Management and staff would like to express their sincere appreciation to Dato’ Azman for his contributions and dedication to the organisation and the country. MIDA will continue Dato’s Azman and his predecessors’ legacies to ensure MIDA remains a world class Investment Promotion Agency to strengthen Malaysia’s position as the pre-eminent preferred investment destination, under Mr. Arham’s leadership.