Amcham: Malaysia is a compelling destination
Amcham chief executive officer Siobhan Das
KUALA LUMPUR, 12 March 2024: Multilingual capabilities, progressive policies and cost competitiveness continue to make Malaysia a compelling destination for foreign direct investments (FDIs), according to the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham).

Chief executive officer Siobhan Das said multinational companies that had been operating in Malaysia for the past five decades had built a strong and competent workforce in the country.

“English proficiency is also another critical asset allowing the companies here to interact with their global partners easily. I think Malaysia is very competitive.

“However, we cannot rest on our laurels. We need to be aware of what is coming around because competition can be fierce and it is not just regionally but globally,” she said during the launch of the Amcham Economic Impact Survey (EIS) 2022 to 2023.The EIS, which surveyed 81 of the association’s member companies, revealed that around 57% have experienced increased revenue and 63% anticipates growth over the coming year.

Additionally, 63% of the respondents expressed plans to further investments over the next five years.

On this note, former deputy International Trade and Industry Minister and Malaysian Investment Development Authority board member Ong Kian Ming said the confidence exhibited by American companies, served as a reassuring signal for investors on the potential strengthening of the ringgit in the latter part of the year.

“The second issue that was addressed in the EIS is the issue of brain drain.

“With the arrival of more American companies, not just in Malaysia, but also as part and parcel of the regional supply chain, there will be bigger opportunities for talents to come to Malaysia and for local talents to circulate within this ecosystem.

“Local talents can work in American companies in the region. As such, the talents can obtain valuable experience which they can later channel back into the Malaysian ecosystem,” he said.

Over the past five years, the cost pressures exerted on companies in Singapore has been unprecedented, according to Ong.

“This means that companies based in Singapore are looking for complementary sites to co-invest or relocate. Malaysia emerges as an attractive option for various reasons, with the main factor being its proximity to Singapore,” he said.

Ong added that progressive policies like the New Industrial Master Plan 2030, the National Energy Transition Roadmap as well as the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone presented new investment opportunities.

“The policies will be enablers for other investments to come in and I am confident that American companies will play an important role. We are talking about investments not just in terms of the solar farms and hydrogen plants but also the software that can manage the energy systems as well as establishing smart and green industrial parks that will attract more FDIs.“Many of the companies operating in this sector are from the United States which will generate a spillover effect in Malaysia,” he said.
Source: The Star

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