The value of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Malaysia this year is expected to surpass last year’s RM41 billion despite the challenging economic climate, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday.
He said the healthy inflow of funds was driven by the government’s transformation programmes that have borne fruit and helped maintain Malaysia as a highly attractive investment destination.
“We will continue to adapt and adjust in keeping with our national needs and the external environment around us,” he said in his keynote address at the 31st Asia-Pacific Roundtable 2017 Welcoming Dinner here last night.
His speech was read by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
Najib said Malaysia’s foreign policy also contributed to its progress through cooperation with the nation’s friends and partners.
“The government had signed comprehensive and strategic partnerships with a number of countries, including the United States, China and India.
“We welcome friendship and cooperation and the pursuit of legitimate interests,” he said.
Najib said in the last year alone, there have been many meetings, including with heads of government and heads of states of Asean countries, the US, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Iran, France, Germany, and most recently, Bahrain.
“These interactions and agreements have (brought) concrete results in terms of trade and jobs, such as the RM144 billion investment by China in Malaysia, Saudi Aramco’s RM31 billion investment in Petronas’ Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development in Johor, and the RM159 billion investment and economic cooperation deals agreed to with India,” he said.
On Asean, Najib said the regional movement has recorded many milestones, including achieving US$1 trillion in total trade in less than a decade from the mid-2000s. He said Asean had also attracted more than US$130 billion in FDI, representing more than 10 per cent in global FDI inflows.
“This is an organisation that, with all its faults, could have gone the way of separation and conflict a long time ago, but has instead underscored community, consensus-building and connectivity,” he said.
Themed “The Future of the Asia Pacific: Issues and Institutions in Flux”, the three-day forum beginning today attracted participants from 36 countries to discuss various challenges and opportunities in the region.