Malaysia should opt for "higher quality investments" from China

November 22, 2017 | By | Reply More

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PETALING JAYA: Malaysia should opt for “higher quality investments” from China in the future, former Malaysian Investment Development Authority deputy chief executive officer Datuk Phang Ah Tong said.

He said the country should push for investments in growing industries such as bioenergy and other high growth technology clusters, and not just “traditional” areas such as infrastructure and property.

“China is currently Malaysia’s largest trade partner with a total of RM241 billion worth of investments as of the end of 2016. However a majority of these investments are not of ‘high quality’” he said at the Deloitte TaxMax 2017 conference

“On the flip side, Malaysia is not China’s biggest trade partner and we ranked number six for them. Right now, China views us as a springboard into the rest of Asean and perhaps also into India, but we are not as important for them yet.”

Datuk Wong Siew Hai, governor of the American-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and chairman of the Malaysian American Electronics Industry (MAEI), took a more optimistic view.

“I think the trend will change over the long term and we will see more of these higher quality investments in areas such as aerospace and biotechnology. Fact of the matter is that China is growing and they will need to leave China in order to grow bigger,” he said.

“Sooner or later, these high quality investments will come to Malaysia, but only if Malaysia continues to be very competitive and proved itself to be a good springboard into Asean,” he added.

Wong said China had begun acquiring local technologically-driven small and medium enterprise (SMEs) with a high level of innovation.

“Many people are not aware that many Chinese companies are acquiring local SMEs that are doing innovative technology business, as to help these companies to grow.

“This tells me that the interest from China to further invest in technology in Malaysia is already present, it’s just a matter of time for the investments to come in,” he added.

TaxMax 2017 explored the tax perspectives and planning opportunities in Budget 2018, unveiled analysis and comprehensive approaches to local and international burning tax issues and offered businesses perspectives on ways to maximise opportunities in the current business landscape.

The seminar was attended by more than 800 participants comprising business leaders, finance executives and tax professionals.



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