Malaysia, as the ASEAN chair next year, will see the Minister helming economic matters within the region, which will pave the way for a single market and production base, making the region a competitive and equitable economic bloc with linkages to the global economy.
Foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the ASEAN region increased to US$27 billion last year from US$18.1 billion in 2012, he said. In Malaysia, many German companies have set up operations in Malaysia including top German companies such as Infineon with investments of US$3.13 billion; BASF,US$685 million; B.Braun,US$592 million; OSRAM, US$370 million; SC, US$90 million and Muhlbauer with US$22 million.
He told the business community that Malaysia has recorded an impressive economic growth path exceeding the 5% annual growth of the ASEAN region. Malaysia registered a 6.3% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first half of the year.
The minister also updated the participants on Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme and the Government Transformation Programme, which are put being undertaken to move the country towards a high-growth economy. The initiatives are also inline with the outlook interests of German companies.
In terms of trade, Malaysia is now among Germany’s top five sources of imports, where German imports from Malaysia include rubber and household gloves, natural rubber and semiconductors, integrated circuits and electric hand tools.
Germany is Malaysia’s 12th largest trading partner with total trade amounting to US$12.5 billion last year, comprising US$5.24 billion in exports and US$7.27 billion in imports.
Meanwhile, Dusseldorf Chamber of Industry and Commerce Deputy Managing Director, Dr Gerhard Eschenbaum called on Malaysia to ensure that human capital skills be complemented with practical skills, citing the case of Germany where the dual system has contributed to the country’s success in business and recognition worldwide.
Noting that Malaysia is an important business partner to Germany, Eschenbaum called on the Malaysian government to continue opening its markets, particularly in the automotive and services sectors.
Also present at the seminar were Malaysian Investment Development Authority Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Dr Wong Lai Sum
Source: NST Business Times 16 Oct 2014 and MIDA