Malaysia ready to return as investment hub


MALAYSIA is now ready to return to its position as an investment hub for both regional and international markets after successful vaccination programmes that enabled a safe environment for investors. 

Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the nation needs to build courage by finding creative and innovative methods to encourage investments despite the pandemic. 

The country’s diverse cultural backgrounds as well as the country’s commitment to regional partnerships placed the country as a conducive investment hub for investors. 

“Different races, for instance, would need different sets of necessity. In another comprehension, more products and services are potentially marketable in this country.

“Thus in the next five years, we are targeting the growth of 4.5% to 5.5% per annum in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As outlined in 12MP, we are optimistic in reaching an average monthly household income of RM10,000 by the year 2025,” he said in keynote address during Invest Malaysia 2021 Virtual Series 1 yesterday. 

The PM said Malaysia is the gateway to Asean market through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and 15 countries within the RCEP are generating almost 30% of global GDP. 

It has been estimated that their overall aggregate of GDP income would increase by USD174 billion by 2030 which will give Malaysian corporations and micro, small and medium enterprises MSMEs a more level playing field while facilitating access to larger regional markets, he said.

“This climate of growth is further strengthened by Malaysia’s consistent improvement in the field of digital infrastructure. In the past years, Malaysia had witnessed rapid growth in the digital economy, online businesses and cashless transactions. 

“As for the international stage, Malaysia remains an active key player in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This international economic collaboration provides more than 500 million participations with a combined GDP of USD10 trillion,” said Ismail Sabri. 

The Malaysian government along with the private sectors are working together on shared vision and strategies to ensure an inclusive environmental-friendly economic growth, in line with their aims to transition into a zero-carbon economy. 

Ismail Sabri said the government aims to shift Malaysia into a carbon-neutral country as early as 2050. 

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the pandemic had dramatically transformed lives and businesses as well as widening socio-economic inequalities and disparities both within and between countries. 

However, he is optimistic that the country is at the cusp of recovery, driven by the National Recovery Plan, the upcoming Budget 2022 and the recently announced 12th Malaysia Plan.

Ahead of the tabling of Budget 2022 by the end of this month, the minister said the government had received over 1,000 responses and comments following the release of its maiden pre-budget statement and four consultation papers. 

“More than ever, we are engaging and consulting with more Malaysians from all walks of life, and across numerous sectors,” he said in a special address at the event yesterday. 

He added Malaysia also needs to consider new approaches to empower the Bumiputeras to become a rising economic force. 

Significant progress has been achieved over the last half-century to address the issues surrounding the community. 

Since the New Economic Policy was introduced in 1971, poverty amongst the Bumiputera has decreased by 89% to a level below 7.2%. 

In 2020, he noted 61.6% of Bumiputera were employed in skilled occupations and 73.7% of them owned a home. 

“Having said that, it is important to remember that the Bumiputera Economic Community is multi-dimensional. Yes, it refers to equity ownership. 

“However, it should also include other aspects of Bumiputera’s economic participation and contribution, such as human capital development, entrepreneurship, employment, the supply chain, and innovation in new industries, particularly in halal foods and services. 

“Given that the challenges Malaysia faces today are very different compared to those 50 years ago, new benchmarks and targets will need to be considered. Therein, we must strive for policies that emphasise outcomes, one that will benefit the entire nation,” added Tengku Zafrul.