Malaysia's track record key to FDI

Davos (The Star/ANN) - The turnout at Malaysia Night, which was double the initial target, was an indication of investors' interest in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"We expected only 400 against the estimated number of 1,000 who came," he said.

He said the success of Malaysia Night, where the attendance was beyond expectations, could be a way of gauging investor interest.

Malaysia Night was held to provide guests of the World Economic Forum (WEF) a glimpse of what the country has to offer in terms of investment and tourism potential.

Speaking at a media briefing later, Najib said the Malaysian delegation had been showing how the country was one of the few that had successfully managed and transformed its economy against the backdrop of a gloomy global economic environment.

He said investors could see Malaysia transforming gradually and that the plans laid out four years ago were coming to fruition.

"It is already happening," Najib said.

"What we have presented here is but a shadow of what they can experience, taste and feel if they visit the country.

"What more if they choose Malaysia as their investment destination," Najib added.

He said that the WEF was a strategic and timely platform for the Government to showcase Malaysia.

The Prime Minister said that besides himself, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkili and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala had been spreading the message about Malaysia to a large audience of potential investors.

"The feedback has been favourable because the Malaysian story is a compelling one," he said.

Najib said the Government's decision to participate in the WEF on a bigger scale this year had paid off.

He said plans under the Economic Transformation Programme and the New Economic Model, which were announced and gradually implemented over the past years, had shown results, transforming the country's economy towards the goals set under Vision 2020.

"We've presented our track record based on the growth patterns, increase in investments, higher valuation of the stock market, the number of jobs created, the low unemployment rate and the dampening of inflationary pressure," Najib added.

He said Malaysia's placing in various global rankings had also improved.

"The goal of having annual per capita income of US$15,000 by 2020 is achievable. Four years ago per capita income stood at $6,700 but by the end of last year, it rose to $9,750. We also believe that our growth rate can be above 5 per cent," Najib said.

He said potential investors were attracted by the opportunities in Malaysia, adding that this was because of the country's fundamentals, incentives and response to them by various government ministries and agencies.

Noting that investor confidence in the country had increased, he said:

"It's an important factor, the more they are confident of us, the more successful we can be in attracting investments and striking partnerships with them."


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