KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is in discussion with the Treasury on incentives and matching grants for domestic direct investments (DDIs) and hopes it can be announced under the Budget 2020.
“We want to continue making Malaysia a very good investment destination for foreign direct investments (FDIs) and at the same time, also ensure there are proper incentives and matching grants for domestic industries.
“Last year, the DDIs dropped a little. So, this is the area we want to focus more on, to ensure the slowdown in 2018 because of the change in government can be addressed this year and moving on to 2020 as well,” Deputy MITI Minister, Dr Ong Kian Ming said at 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award Ceremony and forum yesterday.
The event was organised by the South Korean embassy.
In 2018, Malaysia’s FDI hit an all-time-high of RM80.5 billion, jumping 48 per per cent from RM54.4 billion in 2017.
However, the DDI fell 17.1 per cent to RM121.2 billion following a downtrend across the manufacturing, services and primary sectors.
Earlier in his speech, Ong said Malaysia was looking forward to more high quality investments and dynamic collaboration from South Korea.
He said the halal industry is one area that had been receiving strong interest from many countries, including South Korea.
“In this regard, Malaysia would like to offer our expertise in assisting South Korean companies, especially those in Malaysia to penetrate the global halal market.
“With the conclusion of the Memorandum of Understanding on Halal Cooperation between Halal Industry Development Corp and the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency recently, I strongly urge investors from South Korea to come and invest in Malaysia and gain knowledge in adopting halal or Muslim-friendly policies from us,” he added.
Ong said next year, both countries will celebrate the 60th year of diplomatic ties and were looking forward to the involvement of private companies to forge closer ties between both nations.
In 2018, South Korea was Malaysia’s 8th largest global trading partner with total trade between both countries increasing by 7.2 per cent to RM72.60 billion.
A total of 376 manufacturing projects with South Korean participation were implemented with investments valued at RM25.89 billion during the year.
“With the announcement on the initiation of the Malaysia-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (MKFTA) in June 2019, I believe it can further enhance cooperation between both countries for mutual long-term prosperity.
“Also, a country like South Korea, which is part of the ASEAN+3 group, as well as the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), can definitely benefit from these partnerships,” Ong said. — Bernama