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MITI: Over US$23b infrastructure projects identified under Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) partners, which include Malaysia, said at the inaugural Clean Economy Investor Forum (CEIF) that over US$23 billion of priority infrastructure projects have been identified.

In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) said this includes about US$6 billion of ready project proponents presented to investors.

Its minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz had participated in the IPEF ministerial meeting and the inaugural CEIF.

Malaysian investors and project proponents that participated in the forum were Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Gentari, NanoMalaysia Bhd (Gigafactory), MTC Orec Sdn Bhd, Faradays Energy Sdn Bhd and Limpahan Engineering Sdn Bhd, the statement said.

“The CEIF brings together the region’s top investors, cutting-edge project proponents, innovative start-up entrepreneurs and senior government officials to mobilise financing, to support the deployment of clean energy and climate-friendly technologies and infrastructure in the IPEF region,” Tengku Zafrul said in the statement.

The main outcome was the signing of three agreements, which were the (main) IPEF Agreement; the Clean Economy Agreement, and the Fair Economy Agreement by participating countries, which were already substantially agreed on during the IPEF Ministerial Meeting in San Francisco, held on Nov 13-14, 2023, he added.

Tengku Zafrul signed the three agreements on behalf of the Malaysian government.

Other members of the IPEF trade pact are the United States, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. 

The IPEF Clean Economy Agreement will advance regional cooperation to accelerate the deployment of clean energy technology, promote carbon market activities, collaborate on regional and international carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) value chains, and promote sustainable transport.

The agreement also establishes a novel mechanism for IPEF partners to develop and participate in cooperative work programmes (CWPs), Tengku Zafrul said.

In conjunction with the ministerial meeting, Malaysia also took the opportunity to deposit the instrument of ratification of the IPEF Agreement Relating to Supply Chain Resilience, signed on Nov 14, 2023.

“With the completion of the ratification process, Malaysia is now ready to implement the agreement. This represents a significant step forward in Malaysia’s efforts to strengthen supply chain resilience,” he said.

Malaysia also intends to use this framework to improve, among others, the resiliency, efficiency, diversity and inclusivity of its supply chains, he said.

The agreement’s ratification is crucial to achieving these objectives and reinforcing Malaysia’s position as a key player in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Malaysia sees great synergies among the IPEF agreements and Malaysia’s current policies, namely the recently launched National Semiconductor Strategy, New Industrial Master Plan 2030, and the National Energy Transition Roadmap,” Tengku Zafrul said.

He believes that the IPEF provides the opportunity for Malaysia to work holistically to benefit all IPEF partners.

“In this vein, Malaysia looks forward to developing cooperation and exploring bilateral support measures with IPEF partner countries in funding and adopting nascent technologies, such as green hydrogen and CCUS,” he said.

Furthermore, Malaysia has offered the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy, under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), to share experience and best practices under the Catalogue of Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Initiatives, to showcase Malaysia’s commitment to the IPEF, he said.

Source: Bernama

MITI: Over US$23b infrastructure projects identified under Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity

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Selangor continues to be the prime investment destination, boasting a skilled workforce and well-developed infrastructure, said Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari.

He said this mature investment environment has created an ideal, safe setting for businesses to thrive.

“About a month ago, the Statistics Department reported that Selangor’s population had pushed past 7.3 million and continues to grow. That is more than 20 per cent of Malaysia’s population located across nine districts and 12 local councils.

“The majority are youth primed to enter or have just entered the workforce, thanks to the more than 160 universities in the state.

“These two factors mean we not only have a ready market, but a workforce primed to take up jobs that investments will offer,” he said at Tasco Bhd’s Triple Grand Celebrations opening ceremony here today.

The event was to celebrate Tasco’s opening of its new warehouse, which will be part of its Shah Alam hub. The new facility is one of the tallest warehouses in Malaysia, with four storeys reaching approximately 57m in height and spanning over 55,700 sq m.

With the new warehouse, Tasco’s Shah Alam hub now spans around 92,000 sq m, enabling the company to handle and serve more customers and cargo.

In his speech, Amirudin thanked Tasco for investing in the state, further enhancing the warehouse and logistics sector, which he said remains the cornerstone of a modern economy.

“The logistics industry in Malaysia plays a crucial role in the country’s economic development.

“To further enhance this sector, we must focus on strengthening technological advancement and increase the process of automation of the industry’s systems.

“It is only through this that we can sustainably offer better quality and higher-income jobs to our youth to combat living costs, which remain a concern for most, especially the working- and middle-class population,” he said.

Source: Selangor Journal

Selangor a haven for investors, with skilled workers, robust infrastructure — MB

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Malaysia can serve as a gateway for Chinese companies to export to the European Union and the United States, suggested National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia and Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai.

Soh said China can leverage Malaysia’s strategic location, its established trade networks and its multilingual talent pool.

“Why not (China) work together with Malaysian SMEs and take Malaysia as the hub, and Malaysia can export to the European Union and also export to the USA under Malaysia as the production centre, as the centre of excellence,” he said at the Malaysia-China (Guangxi) Business Dialogue today.

Soh stated that there are plenty of opportunities between Malaysian entrepreneurs and the business community and China.

“As you know, China is very huge. China is close to 10 million square kilometres. China exported about US$3.3 trillion (worth of goods). It’s not billion, it’s trillions. And China also imports huge … US$2.56 trillion (RM12 trillion),” he said.

Soh also highlighted the close relationship between the leadership of China and Malaysia with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim having visited China three times so far.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, and in the coming weeks, the Chinese Premier Li Qiang, will also visit Malaysia, Soh said.

“So the activities are sure to flourish between both countries,” he added.

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 15 years, and Soh believes this will continue.

“China is already a global leader, not only in terms of technology but also in AI and business. Malaysia, being a small country, needs to learn from China,“ he said.

Soh stressed the importance of joint ventures between Malaysian SMEs and Chinese companies, particularly in areas such as IR4.0 technologies and advanced manufacturing processes.

He pointed out China’s expertise in sectors such as electronics and electrical (E&E), integrated circuit (IC) design, solar energy, renewable energy, and electric vehicles (EVs).

“In our towns, we can see that more than 60% of EV cars are from China. We hope that Malaysian companies can venture into EV batteries in Malaysia through joint ventures with China,“ he added.

He mentioned that Malaysia’s new industrial master plan NIMP 2030 focuses on sustainability and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“In terms of sustainability, in terms of ESG, China, you will be surprised. China is moving very, very fast. Many of the organisations, they already start to comply with this ESG. Whereas Malaysia side, we are still catching up. We hope under ESG, there are many China companies able to work together with Malaysia SMEs,” he said.

Soh concluded by encouraging Malaysian businessmen to look beyond Malaysia and consider global markets, particularly Guangxi in China, as potential areas for investment. “Global market is your market. Don’t stay just in Malaysia,“ he urged them.

Source: The Sun

Use Malaysia as gateway to export to EU and US, China companies urged

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Asean’s role has become more crucial as more countries enact policies that serve only their interests, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“In a time when certainties are rare and policies often reflect purely national interests, Asean’s role is more crucial than ever.

“I believe in Asean cohesiveness to strengthen our position as a formidable economic force. We must fortify Asean as a peaceful venture, addressing minor issues pragmatically,” he said in Facebook post yesterday.

Anwar said enhancing collaboration and economic trade and forging greater economic alliances with key partners, such as Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, and India, were essential.

“Our vision is to see Asean not only as a regional powerhouse but also as a dynamic and influential player on the global stage.”

Malaysia would champion these ideals when it assumed the chairmanship of Asean next year, he added.

Diversification of global supply chains and foreign direct investment inflows to benefit development, as well as reducing disparities would also be prioritised.

“By working together, Asean can create a more integrated and resilient regional economy.

“Malaysia itself is setting an example through strategic initiatives, such as the Madani Economy Framework, which aims to drive sustainable and inclusive development, ensuring that the benefits of prosperity are shared equitably among all Malaysians,” he said.

“We also aim to enhance economic cooperation with global partners by advancing technological collaboration and promoting sustainable trade practices, such as greater innovation into green technologies, essential for future growth and environmental sustainability,” he added.

In another post, Anwar said Malaysia, as Asean chair, would prioritise regional cooperation and economic growth.

“On the economic front, our focus will firstly be to strengthen economic cooperation among Asean member states.

“I reiterate this point because while we are successful at maintaining diplomatically, good bilateral relations individually, and at sub-regional and regional Asean levels, we need to do more,” said Anwar.

There was much more the region could work on to enhance its capabilities, improve its capacities to attract investments and trade, and to become an important regional bloc, he added.

“Japan will play an important role in this! It played a pivotal role propelling Malaysia’s economy forward, in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly during our transformative manufacturing boom.”

Source: NST

PM: Strengthen Asean to be global economic force

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Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have today reaffirmed their commitment to sign the comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) by this year. 

This was made during a bilateral meeting between Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz and his counterpart Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of state for foreign trade of the UAE, who was on a one-day working visit to Malaysia. 

The CEPA’s first round of negotiations commenced in October 2023.

The ministry, in a statement, said Malaysia’s first free trade agreement (FTA) with a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is expected to pave the way for deeper economic collaboration. 

This will foster a conducive environment for increased trade and investment flows, not just between the two nations but between Asean and the GCC region in general.

Tengku Zafrul said the substantive progress on CEPA negotiations reflects Malaysia’s commitment to creating a comprehensive framework that mutually benefits Malaysia and the UAE. 

“As Malaysia’s second largest trading partner in West Asia region, Malaysia is optimistic that the signing of the CEPA will further elevate our economic linkages with the UAE to the next level,” he added. 

In addition to the CEPA, both ministers had the opportunity to discuss, among others, potential trade and investment cooperation between the UAE and Malaysia, especially in the areas of semiconductor and renewable energy. 

These sectors are among the priority areas identified by both countries for collaboration towards both nations’ economic growth and technological advancement.

Dr. Thani was accompanied by nine prominent UAE business leaders, representing sectors such as green energy, logistics, retail and airline. 

The delegation aims to explore new business opportunities, forge strategic partnerships, and reinforce existing collaborations with their Malaysian partners towards a shared aspiration of sustainable economic growth for both countries.

Dr. Thani also paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. 

The high-level engagement further solidified the strategic partnership between Malaysia and the UAE, opening new avenues for cooperation and mutual progress. 

Dr. Thani’s visit underscored the UAE’s commitment to fostering strong international partnerships and advancing sustainable economic development.

For the first quarter of 2024, bilateral trade recorded a significant increase of 43.4 per cent to RM11.70 billion. 

On the investment front, as of 2023, 34 manufacturing projects with Emirati participation worth RM1.49 billion (US$0.39 billion) were implemented. 

These projects created a total of 2,039 employment opportunities in Malaysia.

Source: NST

Malaysia, UAE to sign extensive FTA this year: Tengku Zafrul

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Malaysia is seeing a surge in high-value reinvestment growth, according to Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan.

“Malaysia is actually enjoying reinvestment growth at a big, big pace,” he said at the recently concluded Global Forum on Islamic Economics and Finance.

However, Amir Hamzah emphasised that the country aims to prioritise investments that add significant value rather than accepting all forms of investment.

“More importantly, Malaysia is actually trying to push that reinvestment into a higher value-added basis, as opposed to just welcome all investments.”

The minister pointed to the electronics and electrical sector, including semiconductors, which he said is crucial to Malaysia’s economy.

“Going forward, we’ve seen global trends coming. We’ve seen digitalisation coming in a greater form.”

Amir Hamzah also highlighted trends related to security due to geopolitical events including global developments that affect international relations and security.

“So Malaysia is actually at a very interesting place that is actually beneficiary of a lot of the changing geopolitical trends,” he said.

Beyond mere economic expansion, Amir Hamzah also stressed the nation’s commitment to equitable development, focusing on basic needs like infrastructure, education, and healthcare.

“How do we make sure that the money is got down to all elements of society and address very, very basic things such as providing good infrastructure, education, health, and removing poverty within the country? So there’s a lot of reform that the country is trying to do to address that so that it builds a much more resilient future, a much more inclusive future.”

Moreover, he stressed the importance of sustainable growth as well as stringent measures against corruption to ensure equitable wealth distribution.

“In that sustainability, making sure that, as our Prime Minister said earlier, the governance framework within the country must run according to where it needs to be.

“Our fight against corruption is fundamental so that we can remove leakages that occur, distortions that occur, and make sure that the wealth of the country actually is evenly distributed to parts of society that actually need it,” he said.

He said that by considering all aspects holistically, Malaysia can be strengthened and unified.

Source: The Sun

Malaysia sees surge in high-value reinvestment growth

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Malaysia’s latest tax reforms, outlined in the Budget 2024 to stimulate domestic startups, drive clean energy investment, and modernise tax administration, are set to benefit innovative startup businesses, green technology sectors, and service-oriented companies.

BMI, a Fitch solutions company, said the budget’s sweeping tax reforms aimed to stimulate local industries and channel investment into key sectors, including advanced manufacturing.

Among the initiatives are Reinvestment Allowance (RA), Electric Vehicles (EVs) Tax Incentives and Global Services Hub Tax Incentive.

BMI said the RA effectively lowers the tax burden on companies that undertake capital investments to modernise machinery, upgrade technology or diversify into higher-value products, while the extended tax incentives until the assessment year 2027 for EVs will reduce operational costs for businesses in the rental sector, potentially accelerating fleet upgrades and increased adoption of green vehicles.

“Companies that set up global service centres in Malaysia will benefit from a reduced tax rate under the Global Services Hub Tax Incentive,” it said in a statement.

BMI noted that Malaysia’s corporate income tax rate of 24 per cent positions it towards the higher end of the spectrum in the broader Asia region.

In contrast, Asean neighbours such as Singapore and Thailand offer more competitive rates of 17 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, positioning them as more favourable investment destinations on a tax basis.

However, BMI said introducing targeted incentives can offset the high tax rates.

“While Malaysia’s corporate income tax rate is high by regional standards, the introduction of targeted investment incentives is poised to enhance investment appeal in key innovative and sustainable sectors.

“This strategy will enhance Malaysia’s attractiveness as an investment hub before the Global Minimum Tax (GMT) comes into effect. Once the GMT is broadly adopted broadly across Asia, the competitive edge will shift as low tax rates will no longer be a draw for foreign direct investment, given that the tax floor will be uniform in adopting markets,” it said.

BMI said that consequently, economies like Malaysia will need to offer additional incentives to enhance their attractiveness to businesses.

“Such proactive measures are expected to strengthen Malaysia’s overall value proposition for companies operating within its borders,” it added.

Malaysia’s implementation of the GMT, as part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) 2.0 project, has been deferred to 2025.

This tax will affect multinational enterprises (MNEs) with consolidated revenues exceeding 750 million euros, by instituting a floor of 15 per cent on their tax rates.

Introducing mechanisms such as the Qualified Domestic Minimum Top-Up Tax and the Income Inclusion Rule will fortify the tax base against erosion, aligning Malaysia with global efforts to curtail tax avoidance.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia’s tax reforms help stimulates innovation, advanced technologies — BMI

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Malaysia has seen foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows from Mainland of China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region increase to US$3.4 billion (US$1= RM4.696) in 2023 from US$3.3 billion in 2022 and tripling from 2013 levels, says OCBC global markets research and strategy.

Its senior Asean economist, Lavanya Venkateswaran, said Malaysia, as one of the ASEAN-6 economies alongside Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam, has benefited from the diversification of global and regional supply chains, as well as the adoption of ‘China+1’ strategies.

She said the net FDI inflows into Malaysia were highest in the services and manufacturing sectors, implying that these sectors have been major recipients of inflows.

“Data compiled by the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation shows that the bulk of investment from China has been directed towards the energy, technology and transportation sectors,” she said in OCBC’s latest report on Asean-China FDI released.

To recap, Lavanya said Chinese firms pledged around RM170 billion in investments into Malaysia in April 2023, with 19 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed, followed by commitments of RM19.84 billion in September 2023. 

“These suggest that there is a strong pipeline of FDI commitments from China into Malaysia. 

“Further commitments are likely to be made at the Malaysia-China Summit 2024, which runs from 17th to 19th December, 2024,” she said.

Lavanya noted that foreign capital investment approvals, a proxy for approved FDI, have been picking up flowing into Malaysia.

“The source of the inflows has become more diverse in recent years, underscoring the broadening role of Malaysia in regional and global supply chains.

“Inflows from the European Union, other ASEAN countries, the United States, Japan and China have improved in recent years. ,” she said.

Regionally, Lavanya said FDI inflows into the ASEAN-6 economies have been gaining traction, rising to US$236 billion in 2023 versus the annual average of US$190 billion in 2020- 2022.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia attracts US$3.4 bln FDI from China, HK in 2023 — OCBC economist

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To address the talent shortage in Malaysia, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti), together with the Human Resources Ministry, is finalising some incentives to bring back highly-skilled local talent from abroad.

Miti Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said this during a media briefing on the National Semiconductor Strategy (NSS) on Wednesday.

“We see that highly-skilled Malaysian engineers are being poached by global players. It is not only the semiconductor industry that is facing talent shortage, but other industries as well.

“We need to ensure that we continue to attract Malaysians to stay in the country, perhaps by offering more attractive salaries. Companies must play a role in this, as ultimately, it is a function of supply and demand,” he said.

He was responding to reporters’ questions on what initiatives are being undertaken by the government to address the talent crunch in the semiconductor industry.

The government also has an ambitious target to train 60,000 highly-skilled local engineers in the semiconductor industry, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Tuesday.

“The challenge [for us] is not just in ensuring we have enough highly-skilled engineers but also to ensure that the number [of workers] continues to grow,” said Tengku Zafrul.

“We need collaboration between the government and the private sector, for example, universities, TVET (technical and vocational education and training) institutions, and other educational bodies, to help us achieve our target,” he added.

Source: The Edge Malaysia

MITI, HR Ministry finalising incentives to bring home local talent, says Tengku Zafrul

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Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has proposed a halal category for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Domestic Direct Investment (DDI).

The minister said the ministry is also redefining the role of the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) to eliminate redundancies and sharpen the focus of halal industry promotion within the MITI ecosystem.

“I have requested MIDA to have a new category for FDI and DDI, which is the halal category. MIDA will spearhead overall investment promotions including halal, while HDC drives growth in the halal industrial ecosystem. HDC will craft strategies for fully halal and Shariah-compliant value chains, branching out into new sectors like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, personal care, logistics, hospitality services, and medical devices to cater to the modern economy,” he said in his special address at the Global Forum on Islamic Economics and Finance held here today.

He said the global Islamic economy holds immense potential for growth with the global halal market predicted to reach US$9.71 trillion by 2025, with nations like Malaysia expected to lead the pack in the coming years.

“As the halal industry becomes one of the most competitive and fast-moving sectors in the world, so too will Islamic financial assets.

“In fact, global Islamic financial assets expanded by 163% over the past decade, from US$1.71 trillion in 2012 to US$4.51 trillion in 2022,” he pointed.

Tengku Zafrul said that this is attributed to strong balance sheets, high earnings, regulatory support, and sustained demand from customers and investors worldwide.

Therefore, he added it does not come as a surprise that many countries are now focusing on the halal industry, with many businesses looking to invest in halal-related products, driving innovation and creating solutions for their ‘target share’ of the 1.9 billion Muslims globally, which is almost 25% of the world’s population.

Source: The Sun

MITI Minister proposes halal category for FDI and DDI

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said government support will ensure that foreign investments proceed smoothly, with their operations starting according to schedule.

He said the presence of strong investors such as Mubadala Energy, an international energy company headquartered in Abu Dhabi with investments in seven countries including Malaysia, is aligned with the government’s effort in implementing the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR).

“Malaysia welcomes this investment planning which is also linked to the high-impact renewable energy projects,” he said in a post on his official Facebook page on Monday.

The prime minister received a courtesy visit from Mubadala Energy chief executive officer Sheikh Mansoor Mohamed Al Hamed, accompanied by Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz at his office in Putrajaya on Monday.

“This company (Mubadala Energy) is now active in renewable energy initiatives and decarbonation through investment in value chain development such as blue hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).

“During the meeting, I was informed on the focus and progress of implementation of Mubadala Energy’s investments in Malaysia,” said Anwar.

Source: Bernama

Anwar vows full govt support in ensuring foreign investments proceed smoothly

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Malaysia and China will sign several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to further strengthen trade and bilateral relations in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomacy between both nations.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) has lined up to sign four MoUs with China, all of which are on the high-tech and trade sectors, at the end of this month.

“Several other ministries will also be involved in the MoUs with China.

“Detailed information will be provided later with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in attendance to witness the signing of the MoUs at the end of May,” he told Bernama after an interview on Bernama Radio’s “Malaysia-China Golden Jubilee” programme here today.

Malaysia officially established diplomatic relations with China on May 31, 1974, thus becoming the first Asean country to extend a hand of friendship to Beijing.

Tengku Zafrul said Chinese Premier Li Qiang is scheduled to visit Malaysia at the end of this month to mark five decades of ties between both countries will boost confidence in Chinese and local investors to increase investment in addition to gaining wider market access to both countries.

He said China is Malaysia’s largest trading partner and a major foreign direct investment (FDI) source.

“In 2023, China was among the five largest sources of foreign investment into Malaysia with a total investment worth US$3.15 billion (RM14.8 billion).

“The sectors that are the focus of investors from China are mostly in the electrical and electronics sector, machinery and equipment as well as chemicals and chemical products,” said the minister.

Tengku Zafrul noted that total trade between Malaysia and China between January and April increased 5.9 per cent to RM151.06 billion compared to the same period last year.

“The approved investment report for the first quarter of 2024 is expected to be issued by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) in June 2024.

“I am optimistic that the investment value for the period will show positive data, in line with the growth of bilateral trade and economic relations that are getting closer,” he added. 

Source: Bernama

Tengku Zafrul: Malaysia-China to mark golden jubilee, boost trade, diplomatic relations via MoUs

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Sabah could offer a conducive environment for Japanese companies and investors, said state Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe.

He said Sabah had been working closely with the Japanese ambassador, His Excellency Takahashi Katsuhiko, and Japanese trade associations, including JACTIM and JETRO.

“Sabah, being the nearest region to Japan, is poised to play a pivotal role in this transformative journey towards sustainable energy solutions. I am thrilled to welcome Japanese investors to Sabah.

“The potential investments in renewable energy and the semiconductor industry align perfectly with our vision for sustainable development and technological advancement.

“Sabah offers unique opportunities for investment, particularly in renewable energy, due to our abundant natural resources, strategic location and diverse power generation mix.”

Phoong was responding to the promising news of increased trade and investment ties between Malaysia and Japan.

The recent announcement by Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, highlighting the potential for RM40 billion to RM50 billion in renewable energy investments over the next decade, underscores the strategic importance of Sabah and Sarawak in this initiative.

He said Sabah government was actively working to ensure that these investments translated into meaningful economic growth and job creation for Sabahans.

Source: NST

Minister: Sabah poised to attract Japanese investors

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s brief working visit to Japan, which ended yesterday, has strengthened the trade and investment ties between Malaysia and the Land of the Rising Sun.

At the conclusion of his visit, Anwar told the Malaysian media that the visit had also succeeded in securing new potential investments worth RM1.45 billion and potential exports valued at RM550 million from seven major Japanese companies.

“We welcome investments from Japanese companies in the electrical and electronics, robotics, chemicals and petrochemicals, digital economy, renewable energy, and green technology sectors,” he said.

The visit, undertaken to participate in the 29th International Conference on the Future of Asia organised by Nikkei Inc., followed the elevation of bilateral relations with Japan to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in December 2023.

Anwar’s bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida also strengthens Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo cooperation in energy transition, renewable energy, and carbon capture, utilisation, and storage.

Japan has also contributed 400 million yen (RM12.03 million) of Official Security Assistance (OSA) grant aid.

“We look forward to the July 2024 technical visit by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is comprised of experts and industry players in non-radioactive rare earth elements,” said Anwar.

In terms of education, the Prime Minister said student registration at the University of Tsukuba branch campus in Malaysia will begin in September this year, while Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia (UteM) Melaka are currently in talks to collaborate with Waseda University.

The setting up of the University of Tsukuba branch campus in Malaysia is historic, being the first branch campus of a Japanese public university to be established in the country.

Accompanying the Prime Minister on this trip were Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, and Human Resources Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong.

Source: Bernama

PM Anwar’s brief visit to Japan strengthens relations for trade, investment

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Malaysia’s trade with Japan is expected to increase this year, bolstered by investments, particularly in the semiconductor and renewable energy sectors, said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

“Last year, trade with Japan stood at around RM35 billion. One-third of this involves liquefied natural gas,” he told Malaysian reporters here.

Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia has been providing Japan with a secure supply of energy and is now focusing on renewable energy.

Japan has been Malaysia’s fourth-largest trading partner for nine consecutive years.

During Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s working visit to Japan from May 22 to 24, 2024, Malaysia secured RM1.45 billion in potential investments and RM550 million in potential exports from meetings with Japanese companies.

The meetings involved six companies already present in Malaysia and one company looking to invest in the country.

Tengku Zafrul said one of the companies planning to invest in Malaysia is from the semiconductor industry. The company’s name will be announced later, pending necessary approvals.

The other companies expressed intentions to commit to new investments in Malaysia, particularly in new and renewable energies, with interest in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Investments in renewable energy could reach RM40 to RM50 billion over a ten-year period.

“Many companies in the electrical and electronics products, especially the semiconductor industry, want green energy supplies and see potential in Sarawak,” he said.

He also mentioned that the government received tax incentive requests from Japanese companies and will conduct a cost-benefit analysis before deciding on any incentives for the sectors.

“These are new sectors, so they need support in terms of subsidies and tax incentives. The government will carry out a cost-benefit analysis before deciding on any incentives for the sectors,” he added.

As of 2023, a total of 2,810 manufacturing projects with Japanese participation have been implemented, with total investments valued at RM102.11 billion (US$29.67 billion), creating 344,120 job opportunities.

Source: Bernama

Semiconductor, renewable energy investments to drive Malaysia-Japan trade surge in 2024

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The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) has secured RM1.45 billion of potential investments, and RM550 million of potential exports, from meetings with Japanese companies, in conjunction with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s working visit to Japan from Wednesday to Friday.

Several of the projects will be implemented within a three-year time horizon, and will help Malaysia create a strong ecosystem for semiconductors, renewable energy and green technology, according to Miti. A few of these projects are key towards achieving Malaysia’s carbon-neutrality target by 2050.

The companies involved were IHI Corp, Nisshin Oillio Group, Tokuyama Corp, Sumitomo Corp, Eneos Holdings, Mitsubishi Corp and Tokyo Gas.

“We are pleased to have secured RM1.45 billion of potential investments, and RM550 million of potential exports, from this short but fruitful trip,” Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said in a statement.

“We welcome expansion projects announced by existing Japanese investors across various strategic sectors, namely semiconductors, chemicals, petrochemicals, renewable energy, oil and gas, as well as palm oil and palm oil-based products,” he added.

The meetings in Tokyo were led by Anwar, who is also the finance minister, accompanied by Tengku Zafrul.

The minister said such projects reflect Japanese investors’ continued confidence in Malaysia’s industrial landscape, which is undergoing key transformative initiatives outlined in the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 and the National Energy Transition Roadmap.

Japan was Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner in 2023, and the fourth largest investor in the manufacturing sector. As of 2023, a total of 2,810 manufacturing projects with Japanese participation had been implemented, with total investments valued at RM102.11 billion, creating 344,120 job opportunities.

The minister said with emphasis on sustainable development and high-end manufacturing activities, Miti and its agencies — the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) — will continue to intensify their efforts with Japan to spur more mutually beneficial partnerships.

He added that Japanese investors are welcome to invest in promoted sectors, such as semiconductors, aerospace, chemicals and petrochemicals, the digital economy, electrical and electronics, pharmaceuticals, green technology and renewable energy.

Tengku Zafrul was also in Tokyo, Japan, to fulfil his panellist role in the Nikkei Forum 2024, in a session themed “Circular Economy to Support Asian Growth”.

Source: Bernama

MITI secures RM1.45b potential investments, RM550m potential exports from Japan

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Sarawak is committed to work together with China towards a more sustainable development in fields such as digital economy, renewable energy, smart city, and technological innovation, said Deputy Premier Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

He said this is in line with Sarawak’s mission to become a developed and high-income region by 2030, driven by data and innovation.

“These collaborations will pave the way for a greener and more resilient future as well as to enhance economic growth. In recent years, our collaboration further expanded to emerging technology such as digital economy, green technology and sustainable development.

“For example, Huawei has collaborated with the Sarawak government to enhance digital connectivity and to support digital transformation in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

“We hope that the bilateral relationship continues to grow stronger, which anticipates being one of the key driving forces for sustained growth and prosperity,” he said in his keynote address at the Malaysia-China Summit (MCS) 2024: Networking Engagement Series in Sarawak, at a leading hotel here today.

Awang Tengah – also Minister of International Trade, Industry and Investment – noted that Sarawak’s economic ties with China are driven by strong trade, investment and collaborative projects across sectors.

“China is one of Sarawak’s key trading partners. In 2023, Sarawak’s exports to China such as liquefied natural gas, edible oils and basic metal was worth RM18.8 billion, while imports such as machinery, manufactured goods and consumer products amounted to RM9.9 billion.

“In fact, the economic collaboration between China and Sarawak continues to grow with China’s involvement in hydropower development, namely Bakun, Murum and Baleh, which support our goal to be the Asean powerhouse.”

He said the participation of China in the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) project in Sarawak by bringing in expertise and technology promoted modern, sustainable and efficient urban transportation system.

“The ART system is another collaborative project between Sarawak and China, which has led to a significant stride to position Sarawak as the leader to adopt cutting edge green mobility,” he added.

He said investments from China have significant impact on the economic growth and development in this region, enhancing industrial capabilities while fostering sustainable development and innovation.

“To-date, China has invested more than RM19.4 billion, mainly in solar, steel and wood-based manufacturing projects in Sarawak which have led to the creation of more than 10,000 jobs for the local population and spin-offs for the local economy,” he said.

He added that last year, his ministry had organised MINTREDConnect in Guangzhou and Beijing aimed to enhance bilateral economic relations as well as explore new business and investment opportunities.

Awang Tengah said Sarawak’s partnership with China also extended beyond economic collaboration where cultural and educational exchanges between both regions have enriched societies as well as fostered greater friendship and mutual understanding between the people.

“Kuching and Sibu have established sister city relationships with several cities in China, such as Dali, Kunming, Chongzhou and Dongcheng. These initiatives have provided a platform for new trade and investment opportunities besides boosting the tourism industry.”

On MCS 2024, Awang Tengah said the summit focused on innovation and economic development, highlighting the role of Malaysia as a gateway to Asean and beyond, which fostered cross-border collaboration.

“In this regard, Sarawak can be a key player in Asean due to our strategic location, abundant natural resources and commitment to sustainable development.

“The Malaysia-China Summit 2024 will be a platform for Sarawak to further strengthen socio-economic collaboration and foster meaningful partnership with China,” he said.

Also present were Deputy International Trade, Industry and Investment Minister Datuk Dr Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, China’s Consul-General in Kuching Xing Weiping, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation board member Dato Mohammad Medan Abdullah, and Qube Integrated Malaysia Sdn Bhd executive chairman Richard Teo.

Source: Borneo Post

Awg Tengah: China collab will drive Sarawak towards developed, high-income status

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has reassured the bosses of some of Japan’s largest companies that Malaysia remains the best investment destination.

Anwar, who led a Malaysian delegation for a series of one-on-one engagements with business leaders, also said he emphasised Malaysia’s stability and conducive business environment.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz were also part of the delegation.

Among the companies involved were IHI Corporation, Nisshin OilliO Group Ltd., Tokuyama Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, ENEOS, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Tokyo Gas.

“The investment opportunities in Malaysia discussed included the oil and gas industry, renewable energy, hydrogen and ammonia, the halal industry, and semiconductors.

“I stressed that the commitments of these companies should be closely followed up to ensure that investments in this country can be realised within the stipulated time,” he said in a social media post.

Anwar said engagements with investors will continue to provide significant opportunities for Malaysia.

During his last visit in December, the Anwar-led Malaysian delegation secured potential investments worth RM6.56 billion.

Anwar’s three-day work visit to Japan comes less than a week after he led delegations to Qatar, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan which secured over RM1 billion in potential exports.

Earlier today, Anwar delivered a keynote address at the Nikkei Forum 29th Future of Asia and held a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Tomorrow, Anwar will deliver a speech in honour of the late Professor Toshihiko Izutsu at Keio University and have engagements with the media.

He will then perform Friday prayers at the Tokyo Camii Mosque before departing for Malaysia.

Source: NST

Anwar, Japanese business leaders discuss investment opportunities

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China has invested more than RM19.4 billion, mainly in solar, steel and wood-based manufacturing projects in Sarawak, leading to the creation of more than 10,000 jobs for the local population and spin-offs for the local economy.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the investments from the Great Wall nation made a significant impact on the economic growth and development in this region.

“These investments have enhanced industrial capabilities while fostering sustainable development and innovation,” he said in his speech in conjunction with the Malaysia-China Summit 2024: Networking Engagement Series in Sarawak here today.

His speech was read by Sarawak Deputy Premier and International Trade, Industry and Investment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.

Abang Johari said China is one of Sarawak’s key trading partners, with strong trade, investment and collaborative projects across sectors.

He said that in 2023, Sarawak’s exports to China, namely liquefied natural gas, edible oils and basic metal, were worth RM18.8 billion, while imports, namely machinery, manufactured goods and consumer products, amounted to RM9.9 billion.

“In fact, the economic collaboration between China and Sarawak continue to grow with China’s involvement in hydropower development, namely Bakun, Murum and Baleh, which supports our goal to be the Asean powerhouse,” he added.

Source: Bernama

China’s investments in Sarawak reach RM19.4 billion, creating over 10,000 jobs – Abang Johari

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Malaysia is a safe haven for investments, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

In his keynote address at the Nikkei Forum 29th Future of Asia, Anwar said investors particularly those in the manufacturing sector, were looking for a safe haven amid brewing tensions around the world.

This is exacerbated by trade restrictions especially where microchips are concerned.

“I dare say that Malaysia fits the bill (of a safe haven), thanks to our stability, skilled labour force, and our economic and geopolitical nonalignment,”

“The proof is in the numbers. In 2023, the state of Penang, Malaysia’s semiconductor hub, attracted US$13 billion in Foreign Direct Investment, exceeding the total for the previous seven years combined,” he said in his speech at the forum.

The annual Nikkei Forum brings together the movers and shakers from Asia Pacific to discuss the region’s role on the global stage.

The theme of this year’s Nikkei Forum is “Asian Leadership in an Uncertain World”.

Anwar said economic policymaking in the 2020s cannot be divorced from three global megatrends, namely geopolitics, digitalisation and climate change.

“Hence, Malaysia has recently unveiled three key policy frameworks to provide greater certainty, clarity and transparency on the future of the economy.”

The first of these policy frameworks is the Madani Economy framework, which outlines strategies to drive sustainable and inclusive development.

“The second major policy that Malaysia has introduced is the New Industrial Master Plan 2030, which represents a whole-of-government approach to industrial policy.”

The success of this plan, Anwar said, will bring Malaysia a step-closer to achieving high-income status by the end of this decade.

“Finally, the National Energy Transition Roadmap is Malaysia’s comprehensive strategy to ensure the country meets its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions as early as 2050.”

This entails implementing initiatives in energy efficiency, renewable energy, hydrogen, green infrastructure and carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

“These strategic blueprints are indicative of Malaysia’s role in building Asian leadership in the economic, digital and sustainability domains.”

In his speech, Anwar also paid tribute to Japan.

“Etched in our memory is the humble beginnings in Penang during the 1970s, when companies, such as Clarion and Hitachi, were part of the ‘Eight Samurai’ that is the first wave of electrical and electronic manufacturing investment into the country.

“Active Japanese FDI has been a crucial factor in the success of Malaysia’s semiconductor industry, and this is true even today, with recent large-scale investments coming in from Kaga Electronics and Ferrotec.”

Malaysia’s relationship with Japan has grown from strength to strength, said Anwar.

In December, Anwar and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida upgraded bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate in maritime security.

“Japan and Malaysia share a common vision for Asia’s future based on stability, connectivity and cooperation in support of a rules-based order, and I am confident that our relations will only grow from strength to strength from now on.”

This is Anwar’s first keynote address at the event as Prime Minister.

Source: NST

PM: Malaysia a safe haven for investors

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second visit to Japan in six months will be brief but packed with engagements with captains of industry in the world’s fourth-largest economy.

The working trip comes less than a week after the Anwar-led Malaysian delegations to Qatar, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan secured over RM1 billion in potential exports.

Anwar arrived at Haneda International Airport here yesterday, accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and Human Resources Minister Steven Sim.

He was received by Japan Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Yasushi Hosaka and Japanese ambassador to Malay-sia Katsuhiko Takahashi.

Today, he will attend a series of programmes involving Japanese government and business leaders.

His work visit begins with a keynote address at the Nikkei Forum 29th Future of Asia.

The annual event brings together the movers and shakers from Asia Pacific to discuss the region’s role on the global stage.

It will be the first time Anwar will speak at the forum in his capacity as prime minister.

Other leaders speaking at the event include Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Gan Kim Yong, and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai.

Anwar will then hold one-on-one meetings with Japanese captains of industry.

These include leaders of some of Japan’s largest companies, including Sumitomo Corp, IHI Corp, Nisshin OilliO Group Ltd, ENEOS Corp, Tokoyuma Corp, Mitsubishi Corp and Tokyo Gas Co Ltd.

At 2pm, Anwar will have a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, at Naikaku Sori Daijin Kantei, the office of the Prime Minister of Japan.

Anwar and Kishida, who oversaw the elevation of bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in December, are expected to discuss a host of issues.

These include collaboration on the economy, trade investment, the halal industry, energy transition, the environment, defence and security, capacity building and higher education.

The two leaders will also discuss regional and international issues, including the conflict in Gaza, the war in Ukraine, the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.

Anwar will then have one-to-one meetings with Japanese business leaders.

In the evening, he is scheduled to have a short meeting with Srettha and later attend the Nikkei Forum 29th Future of Asia conference dinner.

The meetings with Kishida and the Japanese businesses are expected to see the continuance of strong Malaysia-Japanese bilateral and economic ties.

During his last visit in December, the Anwar-led Malaysian delegation secured potential investments worth RM6.56 billion.

It also comes at a time when 50.2 per cent of Japanese companies in Malaysia are considering expanding their businesses within the next two years, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation’s survey in January.

Tomorrow, Anwar will deliver a speech in honour of the late Professor Toshihiko Izutsu at Keio University in Tokyo.

Izutsu, an Islamic studies and comparative religion scholar, is renowned for translating the Quran into Japanese in 1958.

Anwar will hold engagements with members of the Japan National Press Club and the international press.

This will be followed by a session with the Malaysian press here.

He will then perform Friday prayers at the Tokyo Camii Mosque before departing for Malaysia.

Source: NST

PM to meet chiefs of top firms in Japan

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The country’s investment record is expected to jump further this year compared to 2023, evidenced by potential foreign investments totalling RM76.1 billion that have been successfully attracted as of March 2024, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said the amount was recorded through traditional investors such as the United States and China, and included investments from Australia worth RM24.5 billion as well as Germany and France (RM46 billion).

“This year’s record will be increased even more with the participation of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar.

“So these investments will guarantee increased employment and comfort for the people,” he said in a national address broadcast live today.

In 2023, Malaysia managed to record total investments of RM329.46 billion, including foreign investments of RM188.37 billion and domestic investments of RM141.09 billion.

Anwar said the MADANI Government always makes every effort to ensure that all national investments are realised on time. He cited the progress of previously approved investments that are on the right track, including 75.5 per cent of approved manufacturing projects from 2021 to 2023 that have been completed or are being implemented.

In addition, the value of early stage construction work is also high, which is RM31.5 billion in 2023 compared to RM26.3 billion in 2022.

“The result of these investments symbolises the new confidence of investors in driving the country’s economy at the moment, guided by the MADANI Economy,” he said.

Anwar added that Malaysia is already considered a major investment centre for microcomputer chips that attracts tens of billions (of ringgit) of investments from major companies from Europe, the United States and China.

He emphasised that the business ecosystem should support new industries that are competitive, capable of growing and of high value so that investments can be increased in the local economy.

“The local industry (needs) to be given added value, especially the semiconductor sector which is gaining a place in the eyes of the world,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Country’s investment record to jump further this year – PM Anwar

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Malaysia serves as the launching pad and gateway for foreign investors in the Asean region including companies from Sweden for businesses, said Swedish ambassador to Malaysia Dr Joachim Bergstrom.

He said Malaysia continues to attract Swedish companies due to its political stability, good standard of living and widespread use of English.

“The ease of doing business in Malaysia ranks very high for Swedish companies. It’s relatively affordable to operate here, and also a launching pad towards other economies in the Asean region, so using Malaysia as a gateway to operate wider is very attractive.

“Penang also is a fantastic place and has an interesting fabric of culture, legacy, food, literacy and very attractive investment area for European industries,” he told reporters after attending the cocktail reception in conjunction with the Regional Meeting of Swedish Ambassadors to Asean Countries here, last night.

Bergstrom noted Penang and Sweeden shared long-standing bilateral ties in various areas, including sustainability, green transition, digitalisation, transportation and manufacturing.

“We have a number of Swedish companies in the region here in Penang and Kulim, Kedah. It is really an area in Malaysia that is attracting more investment and interest from the Swedish industry,” he added.

Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow hopes to further increase cooperation with Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden, to boost their investments in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

“I am happy that Penang is able to attract investments from all over the world, including Sweden and the Nordic countries. For the Malaysian government, regardless of whether it is at the national or state level, we have many things to work on, particularly in talent development,” he said.

There are currently over 80 active Swedish companies based in Malaysia, with close to 9,000 employees working with local counterparts to increase access to green energy.

Swedish investments into Malaysia amount to US$500 million (RM2.34 billion), making Malaysia one of the largest receivers of Swedish investment.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia gateway to attract Swedish companies, says ambassador Joachim Bergstrom

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Malaysia may gain from the recent tariff hike by the United States on imports from China, which could divert trade and increase foreign direct investment.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Sdn Bhd (HLIB Research) pointed out that imports from Malaysia to the US grew at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 7.7 per cent (using 2017 as the base year) during the US enacting tariffs on China under Donald Trump’s administration in 2018, as opposed to 1.2 per cent from China and 6.7 per cent from the rest of the world.

Following the start of the US-China trade war, approved foreign investments into Malaysia increased significantly; from RM54 billion in 2017 to RM188 billion in 2023, this amount increased by 3.5 times.

“From another perspective, prior to the trade war (i.e., from 2013–2017), the foreign composition of total approved investments was 26 per cent; however, this has risen to 59 per cent over the trade war period (2018–2023). 

“We believe these trends are in part a reflection of Malaysia benefiting from the “China+1 strategy,” which has seen a revival, fuelled by the trade war and Covid-19 pandemic,” it said in a note. 

Last week, the US introduced or increased tariffs on US$18 billion of imports from China. The firm stated this sum was relatively small as it represented four per cent of US imports from China and six per cent of existing tariffed Chinese imports, which is far less than the previous ones imposed by Trump, which stood between US$34 and $300 billion. 

“Given the relatively small quantum of this recent tariff decision, the market reaction was unsurprisingly muted. Political observers interpret this recent tariff move as politically motivated, given the impending US presidential elections in November, rather than a precursor to another episode of “tariff tantrums.”. 

“Nevertheless, this serves as a useful reminder that the US-China trade war is very much still ongoing.” 

To recap, when the US-China trade war broke out and escalated in 2018–2019, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI lost 10.4 per cent over those two years, though domestic factors such as the unprecedented 14th general election outcome may have also played a role. 

Meanwhile,the firm highlighted that tariffs on medical and surgical rubber gloves imported from China will be increased from the current 7.5 per cent to 25 per cent effective 2026. 

“While at first glance this appears positive for Malaysian glove makers, we believe that Chinese glove makers would likely choose to lower their pre-tariff pricing in order to remain competitive. 

“For the more immediate term, we reckon that Chinese players will start to gradually shift their focus from the US to Europe and Asia; this will lead to US glove imports being diverted from China to Malaysia.”

Tariffs on certain steel and aluminium imports from China will also see an increase from 0–7.5 per cent to 25 per cent this year. We expect the impact to be relatively neutral for the aluminium market and Press Metal Aluminium Holdings Bhd, as China is a net aluminium importer and China only made up five per cent  of US aluminium imports in the fourth quarter of 2023 (Q4 2023).

In the property sector, the ongoing US-China trade war has prompted companies to embark on the “China+1 strategy,” with some of these “plus ones” coming to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia. 

Tariffs on solar cells, assembled or not assembled into modules, imported from China will be raised from 25 per cent to 50 per cent starting in 2024. 

“Wood Mackenzie estimates that the US imported less than 0.1 per cent of its solar modules directly from China in Q4 2023. 

“Therefore, we believe the impact of this latest tariff hike on direct imports from China to be mild, if any.”

It added tariffs on semiconductors imported from China, which will increase from 25 per cent to 50 per cent in 2025. The first wave of tariff imposition (back in 2018–2019) led to capacity relocation, on- or friend-shoring manufacturing pants, and diversifying supply chain redundancy. As such, this latest tariff move should lead to continued acceleration in such trends.

Source: NST

Malaysia can benefit from trade diversions, increase in investments

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The Sabah government has set various plans in motion and implemented initiatives, particularly through the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) development plan, to make the state more attractive for investors, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

He said the Sabah government’s commitment to address various challenges including infrastructure and basic amenities in order to spur economic growth was evident by the substantial allocation of RM2.63 billion for infrastructure development programmes and public amenities in the state budget this year.

Hajiji said this in his speech text which was read by state Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun at the Sabah Investors Forum here today.

The forum organised by Sabah Development Bank Bhd with investors-coordination support from the RHB Investment Bank was timely as it would provide the platform for investors to engage with the state government on key recent and upcoming developments that will spur the growth of Sabah and how the state government will facilitate and support these developments.

Hajiji said RM679.85 million was allocated to manage and address the critical issue of clean water supply while RM430.84 million was channelled to infrastructure maintenance.

Another significant action plan, he said, was enhancing the road connectivity and the state government is committed to completing the Pan Borneo Highway project as well as adding other road linkages outside the project, some of which are in the construction phase.

To help transition the state’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources to renewable energy, the Chief Minister said Sabah has launched the Sabah Energy Roadmap and Master Plan 2040.

“To improve hydro capacity, we launched the Ulu Padas hydroelectric project last December which can contribute some 187.5MW and also has the potential to supply some 6,000 million litres daily of water. The capacity of existing water treatment plants has also been increased,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Sabah govt sets various plans, initiatives to attract investors

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