Malaysia to improve ease of doing business to lure quality investments, says Zafrul
14 Mar 2023
Malaysia will prioritise improving the ease of doing business in the country to lure quality investments, said International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
He said on this front, the government will 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 of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
“We will chart the investment journey, from clearing approvals at the federal government level to facilitating at the state authority levels, with a clear timeline, milestones, and tracking of other relevant deliverables to [make it easier for] businesses to realise their investments in Malaysia,” he said in a keynote address at the Seminar on Business Opportunities in Malaysia held in South Korea, on Tuesday.
The seminar is the first programme jointly organised by MITI agencies, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) for the Trade and Investment Mission to South Korea from March 14-17.
Tengku Zafrul pointed out that Malaysia has much to offer when it comes to business with a skilled talent pool and strong economic fundamentals that are pro-business, prudent and pragmatic policies.
In the recent Budget 2023, the prime minister and finance minister announced that for the priority sector, a special tax incentive for relocation has been extended for two years until 2024.
“With this incentive, I believe that it will continue to attract investors in the priority sector to relocate their businesses to Malaysia and propel our long-term growth through quality investment, technology transfer and capacity building,” he said.
He added that all these developments bode well for investments from South Korea, particularly in the areas of high technology, innovation, knowledge-based, and skills-intensive industries to explore leveraging and integrating with Malaysia’s domestic supply chain, creating high-income jobs in Malaysia and continue contributing to the growth of the country’s economy.
Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said among the issues discussed with South Korea’s trade minister Ahn Duk-geun was to leverage green and digital industries in order to strengthen not just the collaboration and engagement between private sectors but also for government-to-government.
“Maybe, we should have an annual official meeting between the two countries when it comes to trade and investment… South Korea has free trade agreement (FTA) with Asean, perhaps we should look at how South Korea and Malaysia can expand on that,” he said in a five-minute video that was made available to Bernama.
South Korea was the eighth largest trading partner for Malaysia with total trade amounting to US$26.01 billion (RM116.71 billion) in 2022, an increase of 29.7% compared with US$21.01 billion in 2021.
In terms of investment, the country is one of Malaysia’s top sources of foreign direct investment in the manufacturing sector, with 374 projects worth US$9.2 billion being implemented, and generated 46,260 jobs as of June 2022.