KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has embarked on its aspiration to become as one of the best investment promotion agencies in the world, thereby enhancing its contribution towards the development of Malaysia.
The official opening of MIDA's new corporate headquarters and launch of its new logo was graced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur Sentral yesterday.
"Unlike our role prior to 2004, which only focused on promoting the development of manufacturing industry, MIDA now promotes both manufacturing and services sectors and want to bring high value-added investments into our nation," said Chief Executive Officer Datuk Noharuddin Nordin.
"We are now intensifying our efforts to attract investments in new growth areas and emerging technologies, high value-added industries as well as capital and knowledge intensive industries," he told Bernama.
"Nowadays, it is not enough to tell investors that Malaysia is a great country, but we have to show the facts and figures to prove to them that having businesses in Malaysia will be profitable," he said.
With the rebranding of MIDA, he said the agency has made significant investment in training and development for the staff to ensure they are well-prepared and able to promote Malaysia to other investors.
On the slowing global economic growth and MIDA's capability to attract more foreign investments into Malaysia, Noharuddin said, "The fact has shown that despite the uncertainties, interest from foreign companies in Malaysia is still growing very strongly."
"One of the reasons is Malaysia has very strong fundamentals in the context of promoting investment for foreign investors using Malaysia as a gateway to Asia," he said.
"Investors normally invest for the future, although the global market now is rather slow, but the companies are investing today in anticipation of future recovery.
"So that is what we are banking on now, but at the same time we have to sustain and improve the fundamentals," he added.
In the meantime, Noharuddin stated that Malaysia has received huge interest not only from traditional sources of investments such as the United States, Japan and certain countries in Europe including Germany and the United Kingdom, but also from the non-traditional markets.
"We are now getting more interest from Turkey, France, Italy and Spain...countries that do not appear in our top list of sources for investment," he added.
Citing an example, he said a company from Turkey has recently invested RM400 million in Johor to manufacture cosmetic products, employing only 180 workers.
"That has reflected the high level of technology investment coming in and also the beauty of this investment is that 95 per cent of the products will be exported, hence there is no issue of the company competing with local companies," he said.
He said Malaysia approved total investments of RM148.6 billion last year and the figure had exceeded the average annual investment target of RM115 billion set under the 10th Malaysia Plan by 29.2 per cent.
This is a significant achievement in the first year of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) roll-out plan and indicated that Malaysia is on track to achieve the investment targets set under the ETP by 2020 that will transform Malaysia into a high-income nation, he added.
Noharuddin said Malaysia's success in attracting investment over the last decade was not only from the success of MIDA itself, but both the public and private sectors have also contributed to this accomplishment.
"Malaysia's strength lies in its great infrastructure, educated workforce, sophisticated financial system and a stable government with clear policies. Through these factors, what MIDA need to do is pull them together and present it to the foreign investors," he added.