CHEAPER labour has forced 10 foreign manufacturers to relocate to other countries such as China, Mexico, Thailand and Sri Lanka in the last two years.
International Trade and Industry Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said some moved because of company restructuring but the main reason was the lower cost of unskilled workers elsewhere.
Replying to queries over the drop of foreign direct investments, Fu said they dropped to RM11.3bil in 2001 from RM15.8bil in 2000.
“However, it rose to RM11.8bil last year,” he added.
To a supplementary question from Mohd Apandi Mohamad (PAS –Jeli), Fu said the Government did not neglect Terengganu or Kelantan in attracting foreign investments.
He denied Mohd Apandi’s allegation that the Government had discouraged a German company from investing in Terengganu.
“Mida has already approved the RM4.7bil investment by German company Intec Elastomers Asia Sdn Bhd in Terengganu at the end of last year,” he said, adding that the petrochemical-based company would begin its operations in the state within two years.
He also denied Mohd Apandi’s allegation that Malaysia’s foreign direct investments was lagging behind other Asian countries.
“He made the comparison based on Malaysia’s FDI in the manufacturing sector only. It did not include other sectors such as education and tourism.”