Industry players have welcomed recent advances in Malaysia’s investment drive to the US following a high-powered visit led by International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, which managed to attract more than RM16 billion worth of investments from American companies.
The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) said the positive news of new US investments into Malaysia was a boon to local players, adding that the nature of the incoming industries would generate high-quality jobs.
“The new high-quality investments, namely in the manufacturing sector including electrical and electronics and medical devices, will not only generate jobs, but help to develop Malaysian manufacturers to become part of their supply chain through technology transfers in production and distribution and industrial upgrading,” FMM president Soh Thian Lai said in a statement.
Companies that had committed to the latest investments include Insulet, Ferrotec, Amazon Web Services Inc (AWS) and Cue Health, in addition to projects undertaken by Texas Instruments and Boston Scientific.
This followed a 10-day trade mission to the US which focused on high-value sectors such as the semiconductor industry, digital economy and medical devices, as outlined in the National Investment Aspirations announced by Putrajaya as part of its post-pandemic plan to jumpstart the economy.
MSIA, which represents the semiconductor industry in the country, also welcomed the recent signing of a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) on semiconductor supply chain resilience between the US and Malaysia.
It said the agreement comes as the semiconductor industry goes through a major growth powered by emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, smart factories and autonomous vehicles.
“Companies in Malaysia are expanding and increasing capacity to address the shortage in semiconductors. Malaysia is also attracting new investments to strengthen its supply chain. A more resilient and flexible semiconductor supply chain will allow the industry to manage market volatility much better,” the association said.
It noted that Malaysia had recorded approved investments of RM148 billion, almost 10 times the volume in 2020.
“The trend for investments is expected to continue with the recent mission by the Miti minister to the US,” it added.
Meanwhile, AMCHAM which represents American businesses in Malaysia, said the new investments announced by Azmin were “a testament to the confidence that US industries have in the ability of Malaysia to be an effective partner”.
“It was a privilege to attend the meetings in Washington DC and San Francisco with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. AMCHAM is encouraged by US companies’ confidence in Malaysia as a stable manufacturing hub to serve the global market building on the existing 50+ year base,” said AMCHAM CEO Siobhan Das, who joined the a roundtable discussion following the MoC on semiconductor supply chain.
All three associations also welcomed the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a 13-state grouping led by the US which includes Malaysia, seen as an alternative to Trans-Pacific Partnership and Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“To see that Malaysia is part of the initial group of 13 nations is a positive step for the economic ties between the US and Malaysia,” AMCHAM added.