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Thursday November 28, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday November 28, 2013 MYT 10:07:19 AM
by lim wing hooi
Mustapa launches the report. With him are Thomsen (left) and Japan ambassador to Malaysia Shigeru Nakamura.
KUALA LUMPUR: The first Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Investment Policy Review of Malaysia is objective and allows Malaysia to identify shortcomings and policy improvements, said International Trade and Industry (Miti) Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
“Such impartial assessments are important in the Government’s efforts to improve governance and enhance transparency,” he said at the launch of the report yesterday.
The 290-page report documents the reforms implemented by the Government to improve the investment climate, and describes the challenges for Malaysia in moving towards a high-income economy. It also discusses the measures to revive both foreign and domestic investments.
Mustapa said despite a challenging domestic environment, the country was undergoing the necessary reforms to achieve a per capita income of US$15,000 (RM48,468) by the year 2020 while maintaining sustainability and inclusiveness.
“We will continue to promote investments, both domestic and foreign, in high value-added activities and niche areas; liberalise the services sector and promote the development of key sectors and create (a conducive) environment for innovation, research and development,” he said.
Other areas include reducing regulatory barriers, enhancing entrepreneurial skills and developing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and attracting skilled talent from abroad.
Some of the recommendations include expanding the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to include the impact of investment on the economy, conducting a cost-benefit analysis of investment incentives and publishing the results, and promoting better co-operation between business and universities to address skills shortages.
On the implementation of the report, he said the observation shared was useful and that it was an ongoing process.
“We will work on them. We will present (the recommendations) to the Investment Committee and we will look at how to implement some of the recommendations,” he told StarBiz.
Adding that rating agency Moody’s Investors Service’s recent upgrade from “stable” to “positive” reaffirmed the nation’s transformation efforts, he said Miti was optimistic in continuing to attract foreign and domestic investments.
Private investments increased 15.2% to RM35.6bil in the third quarter of this year compared with RM30.9bil for the same period a year earlier, while foreign direct investment (FDI) was at RM27.6bil from RM25.2bil previously.
Investment Policy Reviews Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs head Dr Stephen Thomsen said a good investment policy should cater for all, be it domestic, foreign or even SMEs.
“Malaysia has been unable to repeat the result of its FDI performance in the 1980s and this could be due to the rapid liberalisation in other Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) countries ever since the Asian financial crisis,” he said.
Conducted in partnership with the secretariat of Asean, it was supported by the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Economic Cooperation Support Programme and Japan.
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Business, miti, IPR
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