International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali will lead a high-powered delegation to Japan and Korea, the first in a series of trade missions by Putrajaya to lay out its new foreign investment policy.
This comes as the international trade and industry ministry (Miti) prepares to table the new policy which will include incentives to attract foreign investments, and is geared towards attracting more high-quality and knowledge-based industries rather than labour-intensive ones.
Azmin said the new policy is being drafted in collaboration with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), the finance ministry as well as Bank Negara Malaysia.
“In the past, we focused on the labour-intensive industries, now we will focus on high-tech and high-quality investments,” he told a press conference today to announce Miti’s new [email protected] initiative to help industries remain in operation without being disrupted by Covid-19 cases.
“I believe with the incentives announced by the finance ministry in many stimulus packages including Pemerkasa, announced yesterday, we are going to focus on upscaling and rescaling and building the talents of our workforce to meet the demands of industries and new investments,” he added.
Azmin said his one-week trip to Japan and Korea at the end of the month will lay out in detail the new policy to potential investors.
Mida, the agency tasked with facilitating foreign investments, recently said it had identified 240 high-profile foreign investment projects in the service and manufacturing sectors, with a potential investment value of RM81.9 billion.
About half – RM47.7 billion – has so far been received and evaluated. Once approved, the projects are expected to be implemented between 2021 and 2022.
Despite a recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development of a sharp drop in FDI into Malaysia due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the country was ranked second in terms of ease of doing business in Asean (12th globally) as well as for investor protection, according to the World Bank Doing Business Report 2020.
Malaysia was also ranked fourth among 17 economies in a recent joint US study on cost of manufacturing operations around the world by KPMG and the Manufacturing Institute.