Re-Investment and New FDI into the region

Our moderator for this session was Steven Westervelt, Associate Director, Control Risk-South East Asia alongside with his distinguished group of panelists comprising of Datuk Zainal Amanshah, CEO, InvestKL, Lynn (D’Silva) Cinelli, Public Policy & Government Relations, MSD International, Datuk Mohd. Rauf Nasir, Country President, Motorola Malaysia, Nelson Samuel, Director, Foreign Investment Promotion Division, MIDA, Amarjeet Singh, Partner, Malaysia Tax Leader, Malaysia TPC Leader, Ernst & Young and Dato’ Shamsiah binti Kamaruddin, Director General, Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO).

The topic of discussion aims to look at the different factors involved in attracting foreign investments into the region. It will also allow us to have a rough idea of where the region is headed and perhaps, what needs to be done to be attractive in terms of FDI. 

U.S. remains one of top investors in the region with Singapore being the favourite destination.  A steady growth of 5.4% in terms of investment in this region is expected in 2018. whereby manufacturing and services sector is where a bulk of these investments are injected into. Both Malaysia and Singapore remain the top services sector in the ASEAN region and more than 80% of U.S. and Australian based companies are expected to further invest in the ASEAN region. ASEAN remains a hot spot when it comes to FDI’s. Even with the tax rate cuts in the U.S., a large number of U.S. based MNC’s would remain in the ASEAN market.

The long history of U.S. based MNC’s presence in Malaysia continues to be healthy. Interestingly, however, Malaysia is witnessing a new wave of companies setting up their regional hub in KL. There are various reasons to KL being a preferred choice for FDI’s from MNC’s. Market access remains the top reason. It also has a proven track record, hosting multiple MNC’s operations over a century which denotes market stability.

KL’s ecosystem which is comprised of talent, connectivity and infrastructure are vital factors that will continue to attract FDI’s.  Additionally, an increase in the quality of life and lifestyle, put together with the ease of doing business in KL will definitely be amongst strong reasons for Malaysia to experience continuous FDI’s.