KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been the main beneficiary of inward foreign direct investments (FDI) in the region due to its open economy which results in new job creation, stellar economic growth, as well as driving valuable technology and skills transfer.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said Malaysia's business-friendly policies had been successful in attracting FDI over the decades from thriving economic centres such as Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the United States and United Kingdom.
“In November 2016 alone, Malaysia signed more than 10 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and other agreements with global partners worth over RM144bil, followed by even more multi-billion ringgit MoUs in the following year,” he said in an article which appeared in Business World Online yesterday.
He said investments coming from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) alone was at least RM33 billion in total while the actual amount may go above and beyond that figure.
Mah said Malaysia was the first country in ASEAN to establish diplomatic ties with China through the efforts of Malaysia's second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein over 40 years ago, which grew further over the last decade, facilitated by China's accession into the World Trade Organisation in 2001.
In the article, Mah also said that Chinese investments had been unfairly judged as a new phenomenon here when in reality it had been a carefully planned strategy over decades in the making.
“It is unfortunate that over-politicisation and misinformation have come to define the discussions on Chinese investments in Malaysia.
“The notion that China is only interested in infrastructure-led investments is unfounded. In 2017, Chinese FDIs into Malaysia amounted to RM3.85bil and generated more than 10,000 new jobs in 2016,” he added.
Chinese steelmaker, Alliance Steel, was reported to have created 3,500 jobs with 70% of them going to Malaysian workers, while technology giant, Huawei, employs 2,300 staff in its Malaysia operations, with 75% of the jobs going to locals. - Bernama