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Malaysia remains a competitive investmentlocation for foreign investors. This is attested to by Malaysia’s position in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, 2020 rising three places to 12th position in terms of ease of doing business, among 190 countries.
As at 2018, Germany and the Netherlands represent the top investors from the European Union (EU) in the manufacturing sectors in Malaysia.
Malaysia is built on a foundation of orderly systems and institutions that promote a business friendly environment, resulting in strongly anchored economic fundamentals. It is one of the most diversified economies in the world with the services, manufacturing and primary sectors providing the right balance to the economy. Additionally, being located in the heart of ASEAN, the 7th biggest market in the world, Malaysia is an attractive investment destination for global-minded investors.
To further drive investments into the country, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), the lead agency together with Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) organised a Trade and Investment Mission to Europe from 4 – 8 November 2019. The mission, led by Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MIDA visited the cities of Hague in Netherlands and Stuttgart in Germany.
The Malaysian delegation consisted of federal government officials, representatives from state governments, regional development agencies and private sector representatives. This mission aimed to enhance investment and bilateral ties of the countries by intensifying business-to-business linkages of the private sectors.
The targeted industries for this mission were electrical and electronics (E&E), machinery and equipment (M&E), automotive, aerospace, halal products as well as development and application of Industry 4.0 elements in the manufacturing sector. Various programmes were arranged throughout the mission, including business seminars, one to one meetings, business matching and visits to Dutch and German companies as well as the chambers of commerce. A total of 315 participants attended the Seminar on ‘Business and Investment Opportunities in Malaysia’ in both cities (168 participants in The Hague, 147 participants in Stuttgart). While numbers of individual Business Meetings arranged were 220 meetings in total (133 meetings in The Hague, 87 meetings in Stuttgart).
Dato’ Azman Mahmud, CEO of MIDA succinctly summarised the objectives of the Mission, saying “We are keen to learn from the expertise of the Netherlands and Germany, especially when it comes to innovation, research and future developments. Malaysia too has a lot to offer. Our country has a well-diversified economy with solid foundations, an excellent infrastructure, talented people who speak their languages, and investment-friendly policies. Among the high-value and quality sectors being promoted are E&E, chemicals, machinery & engineering, aerospace and logistics services.”
In line with the Dutch and German companies’ strengths in technology, innovation, M&E, and Industry 4.0, the country’s strategic approach is to welcome these companies to explore potential opportunities in Malaysia. This includes building their technologies and capabilities together with Malaysian counterparts as well as encouraging long term investments in the country as a gateway to the ASEAN market.
Overall, the trade and investment mission to Europe was successful in achieving its targets of outreach to potential investors. The mission attracted potential investments worth RM2.7 billion from the two countries visited. Going forward, MIDA, together with strategic partners, will continue to intensify its promotional efforts to boost investments into Malaysia.