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US companies in Penang keen to reinvest, says ambassador

US companies in Penang keen to reinvest, says ambassador

09 Nov 2021

Several companies from the United States based in Penang are keen to reinvest in the state, said US Ambassador Brian McFeeters.

He credited this to the Malaysian government’s support in terms of new investments, saying the companies are often well taken care of.

“However, some companies felt that there was not enough assistance or support for reinvestments,” he said during a roundtable press conference with reporters at E&O Hotel here.

McFeeters met with between 20 and 30 US companies based here during his two-day visit to Penang.

He said companies are finding it harder to reinvest in Malaysia even though on paper, it looks like they will enjoy the same set of incentives as when they were new investors.

“In reality, it is not easy, so we need a general recognition from the government and agencies like Mida on the importance of reinvestments,” he said, referring to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.

He reminded the Malaysian government that reinvestments by existing companies here are also investments, similar to new investors entering the country for the first time.

He said the support for new investments is generally good and positive.

“The companies in Penang, especially those in Batu Kawan, are very well taken care of, some have expressed positive enthusiasm in the speed with which they are able to come in, build and be up for operations within a year,” he said.

The support, backed by the strong talent base and infrastructure, has continued to attract US companies to look to Malaysia as a place to invest, he added.

However, McFeeters said there are still issues regarding the consistencies, transparency and predictability around the SOPs and trade regulations in Malaysia.

“There is still a need for more predictability around government trade regulations for investors and corporations based here,” he said.

In July, McFeeters raised the same issue where US companies had voiced their confusion over Malaysia’s unstable regulatory climate.

He said the situation still needs to be rectified and hoped the Malaysian government will look into it.

He said corporations setting up in Malaysia does not only bring in investment funds but also provide human resource training where over 300 Malaysian employees have been sent to the United States for on-the-job training before they come back to hold more senior positions.

McFeeters visited Penang on November 8 and 9 to meet with government officials, businesses and non-governmental organisations to discuss US-Penang cooperation on investment, supply chain resilience, trafficking in persons and other related issues.

Source: Malay Mail

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