KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — A key message that Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz will be sharing with potential investors in Davos, Switzerland is that Malaysia is serious about improving the ease of doing business in this country and that the Unity Government is committed to its pro-business policy.

“Through my engagement sessions with chambers and investor groups, one key issue identified is that starting and locating a business in Malaysia could be made easier.

“We want to tell investors that we are not only open for business, but we are also improving processes to improve the ease of doing business here. MITI also wants to position Malaysia as a strategic country and a quality investment destination, and has credibility as a gateway to Southeast Asia,” he told Bernama ahead of his participation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, which runs from Jan 16 to 20, 2023.

Together with a strong corporate Malaysia participation, MITI and its agencies aim to strengthen Malaysia’s position as an attractive and credible investment destination, through its participation at the world-renowned forum, the Minister said.

Among the scheduled sessions that the Minister will participate in at WEF is on the cost of economic fragmentation, supply chain and transport, as well as a session entitled “Living with Risk”, in which Tengku Zafrul will be one of the three panellists. 

He will also be in a two-man panel session on Global Trade: Navigating the Post-Pandemic Supply Chain Challenge, together with Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group chairman and chief executive officer of Dubai-based DP World.

The session will focus on whether macroeconomic forces, such as inflation, geopolitical tensions, spikes in commodity prices, supply chain disruptions, and capacity constraints, will continue into 2023 and how companies can create more resilient supply chains.

WEF, an ideal platform

Tengku Zafrul said MITI’s participation agenda this time is to raise Malaysia’s voice on the international stage and share the country’s direction and policies in terms of investment, trade and industrial empowerment. 

Accordingly, WEF is seen as one of the best platforms because it is organised at the beginning of the year.

“We can discuss what the country’s economic agenda is and my counterparts and I from other countries have the opportunity to exchange views on the challenges that will be faced in 2023 and preparations to face them,” the Minister noted.

It also provides a great opportunity to meet with corporate leaders because the private sector is also there, especially multinational companies to invest in Malaysia or increase existing investments, he said.

In terms of preparation this time, the Minister said MITI and the main agencies such as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Invest KL have made sufficient preparations in arranging strategic meetings with counterparts from South Korea, Japan, the United States, the European Union and also giant international industry players in the digitisation, technology, private equity and manufacturing sectors as well as the medical sector.

Corporate Malaysia

In addition to MITI’s participation, WEF will also see the corporate sector from Malaysia, especially representatives from the Employees’ Provident Fund (KWSP), Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

“This is important for us to deliver a clear message that the Malaysian government and the private sector are ready to cooperate strategically to attract high-impact investments and bring the country’s economy to a better level,” said Tengku Zafrul.

(Hence) in Davos, the government and the private sector must project optimism about Malaysia, he highlighted.

“Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. We must present a united front and uphold Malaysia’s best qualities.

“It is a whole-of-nation approach where private companies together with the government sector ensure that the interests of Malaysia are always protected,” he said.


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