Malaysia well-positioned to lead economic opportunities in Asean — Deputy minister
27 Sep 2023
Malaysia is well positioned to lead economic and industrial opportunities within the Asean region via the initiatives outlined under the Madani Economy Framework, the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP 2030), and the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) which serve as catalysts to attract high-value investments, said Deputy Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Liew Chin Tong.
As a gateway to Asean, Malaysia has an English-speaking workforce, a stable political climate, an established Common Law framework, and a mature business environment.
“Crucially for Malaysians, we must drive transfer of skills and knowledge, high-skilled employment and more equitable distribution of wealth to build a stronger middle-class society,” he said in a statement issued by Economist Intelligence Corporate Network (EICN), supported by Maybank in conjunction with a session organised on Trade and Industry in Transition.
Liew was quoted saying the region’s promising growth prospects and the rise of its middle class have made member countries attractive as both production hubs and destination markets.
Global megatrends of geopolitical shifts, digitalisation and green transition have also benefitted Malaysia and Asean.
“Therefore, it is an opportunity for Asean countries to collaborate to create a vertically integrated and connected regional supply chain, to achieve significant industrial growth together,” he said.
EICN said Asean recorded a steady rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in recent decades, accounting for 17 per cent of the world’s total FDI inflows in 2022, up significantly from 2.7 per cent in 2002.
Malaysia attracted US$16.9 billion (RM79.4) in FDI in 2022, a historic high that exceeds the 2021 figure by nearly 40 per cent.
“The U$14.6 billion average for 2021-2022 versus the U$10 billion (RM47 billion) annual average in the 2010s reinforced Malaysia’s position as an attractive investment destination.
“Growth in global goods trade will begin to rebound by early 2024, translating into stronger factory activity in Asia, with firmer activity in China also supporting shipments of raw materials and intermediate goods sourced from elsewhere in the region. A recovering electronics cycle will assist global trade,” it said.
EICN Southeast Asia director Sumana Rajarethnam said the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Economist Group’s research unit, forecasted that Southeast Asia’s gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by an average of 4.6 per cent a year from 2023-27, almost double the global growth average of 2.5 per cent for the same period.