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PM: Malaysia a safe haven for investors

PM: Malaysia a safe haven for investors

23 May 2024

Malaysia is a safe haven for investments, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

In his keynote address at the Nikkei Forum 29th Future of Asia, Anwar said investors particularly those in the manufacturing sector, were looking for a safe haven amid brewing tensions around the world.

This is exacerbated by trade restrictions especially where microchips are concerned.

“I dare say that Malaysia fits the bill (of a safe haven), thanks to our stability, skilled labour force, and our economic and geopolitical nonalignment,”

“The proof is in the numbers. In 2023, the state of Penang, Malaysia’s semiconductor hub, attracted US$13 billion in Foreign Direct Investment, exceeding the total for the previous seven years combined,” he said in his speech at the forum.

The annual Nikkei Forum brings together the movers and shakers from Asia Pacific to discuss the region’s role on the global stage.

The theme of this year’s Nikkei Forum is “Asian Leadership in an Uncertain World”.

Anwar said economic policymaking in the 2020s cannot be divorced from three global megatrends, namely geopolitics, digitalisation and climate change.

“Hence, Malaysia has recently unveiled three key policy frameworks to provide greater certainty, clarity and transparency on the future of the economy.”

The first of these policy frameworks is the Madani Economy framework, which outlines strategies to drive sustainable and inclusive development.

“The second major policy that Malaysia has introduced is the New Industrial Master Plan 2030, which represents a whole-of-government approach to industrial policy.”

The success of this plan, Anwar said, will bring Malaysia a step-closer to achieving high-income status by the end of this decade.

“Finally, the National Energy Transition Roadmap is Malaysia’s comprehensive strategy to ensure the country meets its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions as early as 2050.”

This entails implementing initiatives in energy efficiency, renewable energy, hydrogen, green infrastructure and carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

“These strategic blueprints are indicative of Malaysia’s role in building Asian leadership in the economic, digital and sustainability domains.”

In his speech, Anwar also paid tribute to Japan.

“Etched in our memory is the humble beginnings in Penang during the 1970s, when companies, such as Clarion and Hitachi, were part of the ‘Eight Samurai’ that is the first wave of electrical and electronic manufacturing investment into the country.

“Active Japanese FDI has been a crucial factor in the success of Malaysia’s semiconductor industry, and this is true even today, with recent large-scale investments coming in from Kaga Electronics and Ferrotec.”

Malaysia’s relationship with Japan has grown from strength to strength, said Anwar.

In December, Anwar and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida upgraded bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate in maritime security.

“Japan and Malaysia share a common vision for Asia’s future based on stability, connectivity and cooperation in support of a rules-based order, and I am confident that our relations will only grow from strength to strength from now on.”

This is Anwar’s first keynote address at the event as Prime Minister.

Source: NST