U.S. Business Delegation Engage New Malaysian Government to Discuss Deepening Economic Partnership

The US-ASEAN Business Council concluded its annual business mission to Malaysia today with 28 leading U.S. companies. The three-day mission was the first to engage the new government since the Pakatan Harapan’s historic election win in May. During the mission, the delegation reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Malaysia’s dynamic growth and discussed the importance of continuing to create a business environment that encourages trade and investment.

The delegation met wit Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad, following up from recently co-hosting the Prime Minister in New York alongside the UN General Assembly meetings. The Prime Minister and delegation exchanged views on economic and commercial policy and regulatory priorities, as well as, opportunities and challenges in tourism, the digital economy and increasing foreign direct investment. The delegation also met with Minister of Finance YB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Bank Negara Governor YB Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus and other leaders across key ministries and agencies.

The mission was led by Chair of the Malaysia Committee of the US-ASEAN Business Council Ramzi Toubassy, who is also Chief Executive Officer for AmMetLife Insurance Berhad, Alexander Feldman, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council and Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council.

“The US-ASEAN Business Council has been a partner in supporting Malaysia’s economic growth since our founding in 1984. We are excited to work with the new Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Mahathir and to seeing our economic bilateral relationship continue to grow.” said Alexander Feldman. The digital economy, financial services, healthcare, human capital development, travel & tourism and energy where all topics of conversation throughout our three day visit and American companies will be an important component of Malaysia’s future success.”

“As chair of the Malaysia Committee at the US ASEAN Business Council, MetLife is honored to have led the committee on its first mission to Malaysia under Prime Minister Mahathir’s new administration. The participation by 28 members of the US-ASEAN Business Council highlights our commitment to further developing U.S.-Malaysia economic ties. These meetings provided insights into the goals and priorities of the new government and importantly, highlighted opportunities for U.S. companies to help the government achieve those objectives,” said Ramzi Toubassy.

“We are excited to have a delegation of leading American technology firms with us to discuss the future of innovation and entrepreneurship in Malaysia. Malaysia has been an early leader of tech in the region with the establishment of the Multimedia Special Corridor and is continuing that trajectory by supporting digital adoption by Malaysian SMEs and further adopting policies to attract tech investment,” added Ambassador Michael Michalak.

Over the course of mission, the delegation also met with the following key officials:

  • Dr. Muhammed Abdul Khalid, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister
  • YB Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia
  • YB Dr. Maszlee bin Malik, Minister of Education
  • YB Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change
  • YB Mohd. Redzuan Md. Yusof, Minister of Entrepreneur Development
  • YB Dato’ Saifuddin Nasution Bin Ismail, Minister of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs
  • YB Tuan Anthony Loke Siew, Minister of Transport
  • YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry
  • YB Dr.Radzi Jidin, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs
  • YB Dr. Lee Boon Chye, Deputy Minister of Health
  • Dato' Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, Parliamentarian for Port Dickson
  • The Honorable Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia

Companies participating in the delegation included AIG, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Chevron, Cisco, Coca-Cola, ConocoPhillips, Expedia, FedEx, Gilead Sciences, Google, Harley-Davidson, IBM, Intel Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, MasterCard, MetLife, Microsoft, Oracle, PayPal, Philip Morris, Qualcomm, Reckitt Benckiser, S&P Global, Salesforce, Shire, UPS, and Visa, Inc.

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For more than 30 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's 150+ membership generates over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.