KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4): International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has listed out three top priorities to restore investors’ confidence, in light of the expected economic slowdown in 2023.
In a statement on Sunday (Dec 4), he said there is need to ensure that trade remains a robust key growth driver, to restore investors’ confidence, and to look at the various bilateral and multilateral agreements to ensure their formulation and/or implementation is of real value and advantageous to participants in the Malaysian supply chain, particularly the micro and small SMEs.
He said there is a need “to increase foreign direct investment (FDI), which has been a key building block of economic resilience, providing the country with one of the largest sources of foreign exchange”.
Leveraging on his previous experience in the Finance Ministry, and his past corporate experience, Tengku Zafrul said he will ensure that his ministry continues to be the focal point to make Malaysia a preferred investment destination and among the most globally-competitive trading nations.
“Through the 2023 budget that will be presented again to Parliament, MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) will propose the creation of a special investment fund to attract more high-value-added investments to generate higher-paid professional employment opportunities,” the statement said.
The statement highlighted several industries, namely the electronics and electrical (E&E) sector, aerospace, chemical and petrochemical, nanotechnology, health-tech, medical devices and smart manufacturing.
He said there was a need to attract investors to the country’s E&E sector, including the development of applications based on radio frequency and bluetooth technology for the automotive industry.
He said these efforts will be matched with human capital development measures to contribute to the restructuring of Malaysia’s trade ecosystem in the medium- and long term.
“I will start engaging with the stakeholders of Malaysian trade, both domestically and internationally, to ensure that we maintain or improve our competitive, business-focused trade ecosystem,” he added.