Malaysia continues be preferred investment destination for American investors - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Malaysia continues be preferred investment destination for American investors

Malaysia continues be preferred investment destination for American investors

11 Mar 2024

American multinational companies (MNCs) remain upbeat on Malaysia’s economic prospects with its potential for growth and development, making the country a preferred destination for investment, according to a survey conducted by the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham).

Amcham’s biennial Economic Impact Survey (EIS) 2022/23 saw 81 companies participating in the survey, of which  65 are American multinational companies (MNCs).

The chamber of commerce said that half of the respondents (42) are manufacturing companies, with electrical and electronics (E&E) manufacturers being among the largest group of respondents.

The survey found that foreign direct investment (FDI) of these MNCs amounted to RM172.6 billion as of end-2023, underscoring the longstanding and ongoing commitment of these companies in Malaysia, with a history dating back to the 1950s.

Amcham chairman Antony Lee said that the commitment shown by the American MNCs in Malaysia is as strong as ever and continued to foster a strong partnership with their counterparts.

“Regardless of Malaysia’s economic conditions and even in the previous global financial crises, American companies have continued to invest (in Malaysia).

“Therefore, we are a very strong partner to Malaysia,” he said after presenting the EIS 2022/23 today.

The EIS 2022/23 results also found that 81 companies participating in the survey employed 148,778 individuals, of which 89 per cent are Malaysians, and paying RM307.7 billion in salaries.

“They also contributed to the future and security of their employees, paying RM1.3 billion towards the country’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and The Social Security Organisation (Socso),” the survey found.

The chamber’s chief executive officer Siobhan Das, echoed Antony’s sentiment, stating that Malaysia’s competitiveness is also ahead of neighbouring countries.

“We are right now slightly ahead of the curve, I think, very competitive. We need to be very aware of what’s coming around because that competition can be fierce,” she said.

Siobhan added that the government’s initiatives and policies, such as the New Industrial Masterplan (NIMP) 2030 and many others, had also helped to woo more investors into the country.

“I think the government has recognised that there are areas that need focus, and these master plans are being put into place to help develop Malaysia as a more attractive country for the future,” she said.

Meanwhile, former International Trade and Industry deputy minister Ong Kian Ming said that the Johor Singapore Economic Zone (JS-SEZ) and the Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) are other factors that can attract investment into Malaysia.

“They (the projects) will bring in joint activities in terms of promotion and investment activities between Singapore and Malaysia,” he added.

Ong noted that the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) is an example of another policy that can enable new investments in various sectors.

“For example, we’re talking about investments in terms of the solar farms, and to manage those energy systems to be able to be put in industrial parks, green industrial parks, that will be able to attract even more FDI to come in,” he elaborated.

Ong added that there is a high chance that many investing companies will be from the US as they have more experience in these areas.

Meanwhile, the EIS survey also found that many of the responding companies are participating in developing Malaysia’s human capital, with 76 per cent having established internal skills and training programmes in the country.

“Additionally, 65 per cent offer fully funded training initiatives, with 23 per cent supporting co-funded programmes. American companies play a pivotal role in shaping Malaysia’s human capital landscape,” it said.

Amcham said the EIS demonstrated how deeply integrated operations are with the local ecosystem.

“Manufacturers report a host of local suppliers supporting their operations in Malaysia, with 7,291 relationships in contracts over RM100,000, valued at RM22.97 billion,” it added.

Source: Bernama