RM170b investment pledges from China a vote of confidence in Malaysia
20 Jul 2023
Malaysia’s recent achievement of securing a record-breaking RM170 billion investment commitments from China indicates a significant boost in bilateral confidence, underscoring keen interest and belief in Malaysia’s economic prospects under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Emir Research head of social, law and human rights Jason Loh Seong Wei commented that this achievement marks a major advancement in the relationship between the two countries.
“According to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), China’s approved investments were valued at RM55.4 billion in 2022. (Which means) even if only half of the investment declarations and commitments materialised, they would still be at RM85 billion, which would be RM30 billion higher than in the previous year,” he told SunBiz.
Loh believes that Malaysia is entering a new era in its ties with China under Anwar’s leadership.
He said elevated and stronger trade ties between Malaysia and China mean an economic partnership which can act and serve to reduce frictions and tensions arising from non-economic disputes such as the overlapping claims in the South China Sea.
“This is embodied by the prime minister’s statement that Malaysia is willing and open to exploring strategic collaborations in the South China Sea involving territories or zones of overlapping claims, such as joint development,” Loh said.
He added that the increased investment interest signals increased confidence between the two countries.
However, Loh said the real measure of success lies in the translation of these commitments into realised investments and that high-skilled, high-paying jobs should be immediately created with opportunities for upskilling, cross-skilling and reskilling. This in turn will ensure the creation of new high-skilled, high-paying jobs in the medium term.
“As with the creation and generation of high-skilled, high paying jobs, the short- and long-term impact of the investments from China should enable us to move up the (global) value chain as we increasing move ahead and transition from a low-wage labour force where productivity is increasingly characterised by sophisticated manufacturing and assembling of factory products using high technology such as computer numerical control automation where the operation process is employed using digitalisation and software embedded in the tooling machine, for example.
“This is different from the typical manual assembly line of, say, semiconductors,” Loh said.
Source: The Sun Daily