US investment flow to M’sia stays high in first four months

NEW YORK: America, which is the largest single investor in Malaysia, continues to retain the number one slot in the first four months of 2011.

ARHAM ABDUL RAHMAN

Arham Abdul Rahman, director of Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) in New York said investment flow to Malaysia has been quite strong.

“Yes, the investment flow from USA to Malaysia is the highest among all foreign investors. Although the number of projects approved by MIDA from the United States is only five, the overall value of the projects is quite high at US$575 million in the first four months of the year,” he told Bernama in an interview.

Although the US has not fully recovered from the devastating economic crisis, many American experts are surprised by the high level of investment flow into Malaysia.

Indeed, the year 2010 was, as Arham put it, a ‘record investment year’ as far as foreign direct investment (FDIs) from the United States is concerned.

Arham, who recently attended the BIO International Convention in Washington DC, said that biotechnology was a “very promising sector” for attracting FDIs.

Although the Malaysian Biotechnology Corp, along with its associate company Malaysian Bio-Xcell Sdn Bhd, are promoting all aspects of Malaysia’s biotechnology sector, MIDA’s overseas offices provide information and other data to potential American investors and puts them in touch with Malaysian Biotechnology Corp.

“American interest in Malaysia’s biotechnology sector at the recent Washington event was quite strong.

“According to information I received, the Malaysian Bio-XCell Sdn Bhd and its parent, Malaysian Biotechnology Corp, attracted some 40 one-on-one meetings with investors and others,” Arham maintained.

MIDA has approved 272 investment projects from around the world in the first four months of 2011 with an investment volume of US$6.4 billion and will create some 37,391 jobs in Malaysia in different sectors.

Some of the sectors for which most of the investment applications were made were, among others, electrical and electronic projects, basic metals, transport projects, etc.

Arham was also eyeing a visit to Malaysia by a high-profile business delegation organised by the Washington based US-Asean Business Council (USABC) which promotes economic and business ties between the USA and the Asean group.

“This visit is expected to have a strong positive impact on investment flow to Malaysia.

The delegation comprises top executives of 20 multinational companies with a strong interest in the Southeast Asian region.

“They will be touring the region and will be in Malaysia on July 19 and 20.

They are expected to meet senior representatives of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry as well as MIDA,” Arham said.

Another ‘milestone event’ that was expected to put Malaysia on the world’s industrial map is the Forbes Global CEO Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur from September 12 to 14 under the banner ‘At the Crossroads’.

The conference, an annual event, will be attended by some 400 global CEOs, entrepreneurs, capitalists, modern thinkers and other prominent persons, according to Forbes in New York.

With global corporate stars expected to descend upon Kuala Lumpur, the conference will acquire an international aura.

MIDA’s New York office is coordinating with the USABC as well as with Forbes. — Bernama

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