US – Malaysia 60 Years Celebration

350 members and guests joined AMCHAM as it hosted Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib bin Tun Razak and the U.S. Ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir to celebrate 60 years of bilateral and business ties at the Mandarin Oriental on July 11, 2017. Senior officials and captains of industry were part of this illustrious audience that included Ministers Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed of MITI and Dato’ Sri Rohani Abdul Karim, Minister, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. YABhg Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was also present.

The American and Malaysian business communities have long recognized the strong and lasting bonds between the two countries since official ties were created in 1957. Over the years, the continuous engagement between the public and private sectors of both nations has resulted in a resilient friendship that has sustained business, cultural and diplomatic growth.

Dato’ Sri Najib bin Tun Razak delivered the keynote address that included some key announcement including the recent relief provided on GST, the call for greater ties in areas such as security.He also promised a set of guidelines that will address the new aspects of the Withholding Tax laws that have been imposed on services rendered outside of the country.A recent departure from OECD guidelines that have been disruptive to many of AMCHAM members.

The evening recognized how Malaysians deeply value the strong diplomatic and trade relations with the US, and how American firms have played an important role in driving the growth of many economic sectors in Malaysia.

“AMCHAM firms have for decades been invaluable to the Malaysian economy,” said HE Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, the US Ambassador to Malaysia. “They are in manufacturing, financial services, energy exploration, electricity production, and healthcare to name a few sectors. Equally important, these companies are vital to local communities with longstanding and still expanding programs such as training youth, empowering women entrepreneurs, and rural healthcare initiatives.

Tonight was a celebration of the business and community partnerships AMCHAM firms have made across Malaysian society.”

The gala dinner at the Mandarin Oriental, KLCC, was hosted by the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year.

Also present at the gala dinner were:
YBhg Dato’ Azman Mahmud, CEO, MIDA
YBhg Datuk Seri Jayasiri Jayasena, Secretary General, MITI
YBhg Datuk Dr Hafsah Hashim, CEO, SME Corp
Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, Director General, Immigration Department
YBhg Datuk Wan Latiff, Deputy CEO, MATRADE
YBhg Datuk Tim Garland, Interim President of AMCHAM

Siobhan Das, Executive Director of AMCHAM, said the chamber has played an important role in 40 of the 60 years of business ties between Malaysia and the US.

“Our tradition of constructive engagement and meaningful discourse continues to yield trade, investment and the development of people,” she said. “We are very honored to have Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib present at this occasion, along with Ambassador Kamala.”

This year, a key initiative called AMCHAM Cares is underway at the Chamber. It raises awareness of CSR and corporate citizenship and recognizes AMCHAM members who demonstrate best practices in creating long-term economic and social value. AMCHAM Cares seeks to benchmark CSR work and share information to maximize its impact. AMCHAM member companies engage in CSR with an array of activities from education to healthcare, environmental stewardship and community programs.