BANGKOK – Malaysia has maintained its trade and economic policy as well as be friendly to other countries, despite a change of government after 61 years, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
The new government of Malaysia according to him, welcomes foreign investors including from its closest neighbour, Thailand and is working to streamline the rules, regulations and law to facilitate more investment into the country.
“We are business friendly. So when people come to invest in Malaysia, the government will try and help as much as possible. We are streamlining all the rules, regulations and laws in order to facilitate investment from foreign countries.
“We hope more Thai companies come to Malaysia to invest and we would like to see more Malaysian companies investing in Thailand too. This will achieve good growth in both Malaysia and Thailand. We hope that all efforts should facilitate two-way trade,” he said in a keynote address during a dialogue session with Thai corporate leaders here today.
Also present were Foreign Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Ignatius Darrell Leiking Economic Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Malaysia ambassador to Thailand Datuk Jojie Samuel.
Leading the Thai investors was chairman of the joint standing committee on commerce, industry and banking of Thailand, Kalin Sarasin.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said ASEAN with more than 600 million population is a big market for trade and business and urged all members of the regional grouping to tap on the vast potential of each other to enrich its people.
“Maybe the per capital income is low, the need of the poor are big. However, with trade and business are growing, it will enrich the people and we will have a good market for ourselves,” he said.
Dr Mahathir invites more Thai companies and investors to set up business in Malaysia where communication is easy.
“When we do business, we like to do business with people we know. With strangers, sometimes, we are not sure about what will happen with strangers.
“There are opportunities for Malaysia and Thailand to learn from each other and such a meeting is very important,” he said.
The bilateral relations between the two neighbours according to the 94-year-old leader, have been established for a long period of time with Malaysia benefitting from the solid and genuine cooperation.
“Malaysia wants to increase bilateral trade with Thailand. We should identify products that we can get from each other to increase our trade volume.
“At the moment, I think Malaysia’s investment in Thailand is more than Thailand (investment in Malaysia) but we see that your productivity and skills are good. So there is the opportunity for more Thai investment in Malaysia and we will achieve good growth for the two nations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said the 24-hour operations of Bukit Kayu Hitam Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) complex and Sadao Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex would help in increasing the cross border trade between the two neighbours.
“With good roads and railway facilities as well as communications, we will be able to improve the performance of cross border trade,” he said.
On Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya launched the 24-hour operations for Bukit Kayu Hitam ICQS and Sadao CIQ, which previously operated from 6 am until midnight.