Investors Stay Upbeat on Malaysia as FDI destination

Investors Stay Upbeat on Malaysia as FDI destination
Bernama 26 Sep 2013 NEW YORK, Sept 26 (Bernama) -- Investors remain confident about Malaysia as a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination despite the declining inflows of FDI into the country, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib said on Wednesday.

He said Malaysia recorded inflows of US$10.16 billion in 2012 and maintained its ranking as the third largest recipient of FDIs in ASEAN in the "World Investment Report 2013" by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

UNCTAD also ranked Malaysia 11th among 20 economies with the highest FDI profitability, Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said at the "Global Investment Symposium" at Havard Club New York here on Wednesday.

The symposium, aimed at promoting Malaysia, specifically Greater Kuala Lumpur, as an incomparable investment proposition and destination for US investors, was well attended by American businessmen, investors and captains of industry.

Najib said the 17 per cent rate of return recorded by Malaysia was an apt testimony that Malaysia was indeed profitable for businesses.

He said investors in the Malaysian market also benefit from strong investor protection policies, which have been affirmed by Malaysia being ranked fourth on the World Bank's Doing Business 2013 - Investor Protection Index.

Najib said Malaysia has also taken measures to ensure the security of foreign investments, by signing Investment Guarantee Agreements with 58 countries to protect foreign companies from nationalisation and expropriation, and a host of other possibilities.

"In light of all the above, I strongly encourage you to look at Greater KL as your regional hub for Business, Innovation and Talent, supported by a low-cost, high-capability and world-class infrastructure value proposition. Make no mistake, Greater KL is pivotal to your continued expansion in Asia," he said.

The Prime Minister said he looked forward to welcoming more American multinationals to Kuala Lumpur to set up their forward operating base for the region.

The United States is an important trading partner for Malaysia, registering total trade of almost US$40 billion in 2012, with bilateral trade favouring Malaysia. The US is also Malaysia's fourth largest trading partner in 2011, the second largest among the 10 Asean members in Southeast Asia.

Najib said as the mandated "CEO of Malaysia", he was here to reinforce the business ties that bind the two nations.

He also said that under the Asean Economic Community or AEC framework, which will materialise on Dec 31, 2015, the 10 Asean economies will integrate into a coherent whole as a single market with a common trade, investment and production base.

"It is pertinent that Malaysia will assume the chairmanship of Asean in 2015. The fact that AEC is set to be launched during our term as chairman is important to note.

"We are hitting the road running as we fully believe that the future of Malaysia, and possibly your future, lies in leveraging the potential of Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur, as the business hub of the AEC, can offer," he said.

The prime minister said beyond the launch of AEC, there is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP, a pact which will bind Asean's 10 member-nations+6 by 2015.

He said Malaysia's efforts to provide a business-friendly environment have also been affirmed by the World Bank, which ranked Malaysia the 12th best place in the world to conduct business in its "Ease of Doing Business 2013" report.

He said the IMD World Competitiveness Centre ranked Malaysia 15th in its World Competitiveness Scoreboard 2013. In 2012, Malaysia was placed 4th out of 59 economies in terms of business efficiency.

Najib arrived in New York on Wednesday morning after ending his working visit to San Francisco to attend the 3rd Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) meeting from Sept 22 to 24.

On Sept 26, the prime minister is scheduled to deliver a statement at the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament and on Sept 28, Malaysia's statement during the General Debate.

Also on Sept 28, Najib is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at an Asia Society event and meet with key industry players from Asean countries and the United States (US) during a luncheon with the US-Asean Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Najib was accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and several cabinet ministers, including Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, during his visit to San Francisco and New York from Sept 22-29