MIDA emphasises technology adoption, ESG practices for sustainable investment ecosystem - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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MIDA emphasises technology adoption, ESG practices for sustainable investment ecosystem

MIDA emphasises technology adoption, ESG practices for sustainable investment ecosystem

11 Dec 2023

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is committed to unearthing cost-effective mechanisms aimed at accelerating investments in sustainable projects in sectors such as renewable energy, hydrogen and green growth, in line with the government’s aspiration for net-zero emissions by 2050.

According to MIDA chairman Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob, emphasis has been placed on promoting research and development (R&D) activities and identifying the latest technology trends as well as emerging technologies. “Collaborative efforts with industries, both local and foreign R&D institutions, as well as technology providers are also pursued,” he told Bernama.

He said the strategic focus is geared towards nurturing local expertise in the evolving dynamic innovation landscape, ensuring Malaysia remains at the forefront of maintaining a leading position in technological advancements in sustainability and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) practices.

This is in line with the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030, a blueprint for resilient industrial transformation and sustainable growth and the ESG Framework.

Sulaiman expressed concerns about stand-alone and non-exporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which may not readily fully recognise the significance and importance of integrating ESG into their business operations. “Ensuring an inclusive journey where no one is left behind is important to us,” he said.

It is imperative for all industry players, regardless of size or sector to embark on an ESG transformative path in light of Malaysia’s net-zero emissions, he added.

“Hence, MIDA will lead deals and negotiations for all investment projects in the manufacturing and selected services sectors by redesigning promotional strategies and activities to emphasise the element of ESG sustainable practices,” he said.

Key focal points include enhancing talent management for industrial development, moving comprehensive ESG adoption, as well as developing and strengthening the industrial ecosystem in Malaysia.

“We are also proposing the right supporting tools such as AI-driven technologies for local industry players by working together with the Ministry of Investment, Trade Industry (MITI), the R&D institutions, industry and other government key stakeholders to streamline ESG efforts and facilitate a wider ESG adoption in Malaysia,” he said.

To remain relevant in business, he said SMEs have no other alternatives but to adopt ESG practices to remain in the global supply chain as the anchor companies must comply with the Scope 3 emissions.

Companies adopting sustainable business practices will have a competitive advantage such as new markets and sustainable supply chain development and promote a stronger brand identity.

Furthermore, the inclusion of ESG reporting in earnings reports is trending among businesses. Investors and lenders are becoming highly attracted to companies that invest in ESG and use ESG disclosures to shed light on their sustainability efforts.

He also pointed out that many local businesses, particularly SMEs, face financial constraints in transitioning to sustainable practices, in which the initial investment required for sustainable technologies and infrastructure improvements poses a considerable barrier.

Sulaiman emphasised MIDA’s role in providing comprehensive support and facilitation, including initiatives like MIDA’s Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit (TRACK) that aim to enhance business process efficiency and ensure a smooth investment journey.

“In line with the government’s pro-active approach to ease of doing business, MITI has set up the Invest Malaysia Facilitation Centre (IMFC) at MIDA headquarters from Dec 1, 2023,” he said.

As of September 2023, MIDA has approved 4,073 green projects valued at over RM38.9 billion worth of investment. Notably, green technology investments recorded a significant 24.6% growth for the period of January-September 2023 over the same period last year, totalling RM1.5 billion, comprising 490 projects.

These investments cover various green technology initiatives, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, integrated waste management, green buildings and services which are under Mida’s purview.

Additionally, electric vehicle components and assembly reached RM291.3 million of approved investments from January to September 2023.

Source: Bernama