Malaysia needs stronger future proofing to attract EU, UK investments
05 Jul 2021
Malaysia is primed to be a major beneficiary of European and the United Kingdom investments, HSBC said at a global client seminar.
The bank, however, said greater adaption and adoption of trade, sustainability, technology and digital trends and reform were required to convert this potential into reality.
Speaking at the “HSBC EU & UK-Asean virtual client roadshow”, HSBC Malaysia chief executive officer Stuart Milne said that Southeast Asia’s medium-term prospects, opportunities and global relevance remained intact for multinational corporations (MNCs).
He said Malaysia had received significant foreign direct investment (FDI) volumes and was uniquely positioned to capture increasing opportunities arising from supply chains moving to the region.
In the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, the country’s FDI rose to RM9.1 billion from RM6.8 billion in the previous quarter, with the European Union (EU) and the UK remaining key inbound investment sources.
“Southeast Asia’s large demographic dividend comprising of young and relatively lower cost labour make it a very attractive destination for international companies.
“But it is not without its challenges including some lagging in productivity, digital and sustainable practices.
“The key for Southeast Asia is to regain its traditional growth drivers of trade and investment, coupled with capturing the opportunities emerging in the green and digital space,” he said.
Milne said this would require the Asean markets to pull several policy reform levers, especially if it’s to attract overseas investment.
“As a strategic hub in Asean with strong economic fundamentals, Malaysia provides a range of investment opportunities to organisations from the EU and the UK.
“In turn, these organisations can be a significant source of investment across the green and technology sectors for the country.
“But success will require building resilience and transforming how we do things in Malaysia now and in the future,” he added.