Govt’s investment-friendly approach builds confidence, says Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association
27 Aug 2023
Malaysia is expected to receive more investments going forward, supported by investors’ confidence in the Madani Economy framework and from offshoots from existing investments, said Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA).
MSIA president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai said the investment-friendly approach practised by the current government would attract foreign companies to enter the Malaysian market.
“We can see Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) working very hard to attract investments from all over the world, including China, the United States and even (lending his personal touch) with Tesla’s Elon Musk. There were other investment announcements from European semiconductor firms. Investors will view these approved investments positively.
“US companies did expand its footprint in Malaysia. We have companies like Intel Corp. We also have new companies coming in. So, investors are confident about Malaysia but we want (more) quality investments,” he told Bernama.
US ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters said US companies made investment pledges totalling RM100 billion in various sectors over the last 18 months.
He said these involve significant investments in areas where the US wants to strengthen its presence, namely electronics and semiconductor sectors, as well as data centre segment which is a big growth area.
McFeeters said US investments are coming strongly into Malaysia after discovering that Malaysia is a key part of the world’s supply chain during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A lot of US factories depend directly on something made in Malaysia. So we have a mutually beneficial economic relationship that has been developed to this day,” he said.
Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz had previously said that Malaysia would prioritise improving the ease of doing business in the country to lure quality investments.
He said the government would continue to streamline processes and monitor and track these investment processes closely and in real time through a project management and delivery unit within the ministry (Miti).
Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid opined that Malaysia has always portrayed itself as non-partisan and has been accommodative to bilateral ties.
“In today’s world, threats of deglobalisation are seen to be taking root which can be counterproductive if allowed.
“Therefore, forging economic alliances with various (countries) should signify Malaysia’s commitment to remain open to foreign direct investments (FDIs),” he said.
More importantly, Mohd Afzanizam said investments by foreign companies could be a catalyst for infrastructure development as well as transfers of technology.
On the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector outlook, Wong said industry players are expecting demand to pick up in 2024.
“Everyone is expecting a pick-up next year but we don’t know when. Some say (it could be) early first half of the year, others say second half of the year. We need to observe the trend,” he said.
Demand fell at the end of last year due to weaker consumer demand, spurred by high inflation and recession concerns. Everything slowed down and this continued into this year.
Wong reckoned that demand would stabilise for the rest of year.