THE American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) Business Confidence Index surged 24.7% from June to July, indicating a strong recovery in business and consumer confidence, in both local and global markets.
Amcham said this was a positive change in mood from several months ago, when many American businesses were concerned about the outcome of the Iraq war and the severity of the SARS outbreak.
Amcham president Tim Garland said American businesses felt confident about the way the Malaysian government was handling the economy.
According to the chamber, about 91.6% of survey respondents said they felt the Malaysian government was competent in the way it handled the economy.
About 50% of those who voted say that they believe that net foreign direct investment is expected to remain steady while 29.2% say it would be positive and 20.8% say it would fall, Garland said in a statement yesterday.
He said the result was in direct contrast to just a few months ago when most said they thought foreign direct investment (FDI) was either weak or negative.
In a related event, the latest annual survey published by the Malaysian American Electronics Industry (MAEI), an industry group of Amcham, revealed that electronics exports of RM59bil could be expected this year. This represents a 15% increase from 2002's sales of RM52.3bil.
MAEI chairman C.B. Teh expressed confidence that another 15% year-on-year growth was sustainable even for 2004.
His views were supported by the belief that the US recovery is on track and that business spending will spill over to reinvestment in technology upgrading.
New innovations in technology would mean higher chip content consumption, translating to greater demand for semiconductors and related products, he added. Bernama
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