ESG, supply chain resilience top Malaysia’s agenda in MITI trade mission to US
08 May 2022
Broadening bilateral linkages opportunities with a central agenda on environmental, social and governance (ESG), as well as supply chain resilience, will be the key focus during Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s trade and investment mission to the United States.
Scheduled for May 9-18, the trip aims to reinforce Malaysia’s value proposition as the preferred investment destination and trading partner.
“The mission is paramount for Malaysia to engage with American business counterparts and further enhance Malaysia-US economic cooperation,” the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said in a statement on Sunday (May 8).Advertisement
In Washington, the minister is scheduled to have meetings with Gina M Raimondo, the US Secretary of Commerce, and Ambassador Katherine Tai, the US Trade Representative.
The meetings would highlight Malaysia’s capabilities and capacities in strategic sectors, including advancing ESG in trade and investment and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
Mohamed Azmin and Raimondo would also be signing a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) between Malaysia and the US to promote deeper bilateral cooperation in semiconductor supply chain resilience efforts.
The MOC undoubtedly demonstrates Malaysia’s significant role in ensuring the stability of the global supply chain in the manufacturing sector and its related services, the ministry said.
“The government’s strong commitment to advancing a green economy, business-friendly policies, and comprehensive measures aimed at solidifying bilateral cooperation with key industry partners will catalyse Malaysia’s value creation in advancing the nation’s competitiveness.
“This is in line with the national aspiration toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as stipulated under the 12th Malaysia Plan,” MITI said.
Notably, the National Investment Aspirations policy will feature prominently in the core discussion topic during the mission.
This mission, it said, would also include facility visits and one-to-one business meetings with prominent American companies, as well as potential investors in high-value sectors, including electrical and electronics (E&E), medical devices, metal technology, and telecommunication.
The engagement is targeted to secure new business opportunities and attract high technology, capital-intensive as well as high value-added investments with high-income jobs.
In 2021, the US was Malaysia’s third largest trading and export destination, as well as the fourth largest source of import. Total trade between the two countries grew by 21.4% to RM217.10 billion (US$52.37 billion) compared to 2020.
Malaysia’s exports to the US increased by 30.4% to RM142.20 billion, mainly contributed by higher exports of E&E and rubber products. Imports from the US also grew by 7.4%, valued at RM74.87 billion (US$18.06 billion), contributed by higher imports of E&E and metal products.
The US is the fourth largest foreign investor in Malaysia in terms of implemented manufacturing projects, with a total of 840 manufacturing projects worth RM84.97 billion that created 188,396 jobs.
Major investments from the US are in the E&E, machinery and equipment, and chemicals sectors.