KUALA LUMPUR – Talks with the United States are likely to garner RM14.62 billion in new investments for Malaysia.
The Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, told Bernama and TV3 reporters in Washington D.C. that numerous US-based firms are keen on expanding their businesses in Malaysia.
The remarks was following the 10-day Trade and Investment Mission (TIM) which the Malaysian delegation, led by the senior minister, were part of since May 8.
He also stated that there will be further announcements soon regarding the overall new investments committed by these US-based companies.
Since the trip started, Azmin met several hi-tech firms including global semiconductor company Texas Instruments Inc and global materials supplier to the electronics assembly and semiconductor packaging field, Indium Corporation.
The senior minister emphasised that the ministry will continue its trade mission to get more investments that would add job opportunities for the Malaysian workforce.
The Investment Framework Agreement revival welcomed
Following talks with US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, Azmin said that the US is open to the suggestion of reviving the Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
The minister explained that Malaysia is open to further these discussions on the framework with the US although the attempts to revisit and revive TIFA was in 2017 to no avail. The previous discussion on the matter was back in 2005 and there had been no updates since.
He stated that he is optimistic both nations would reach a conclusion to the terms of agreement activation in the near future.
However so, he said that TIFA needs to be able to accommodate and mitigate current global challenges to ensure resilience to the supply chain.
IPEF discussion still open for Malaysia
Meanwhile, Azmin stated that Malaysia is still open for further discussions on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). The framework was proposed by US President Joe Biden and mentioned during a bilateral meeting between Azmin and US Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo.
Azmin explained that Malaysia, as a small economy, is open to additional discussions on the IPEF and wants to ensure that the ASEAN-centric spirit is respected while saying that all ASEAN members should discuss the matter thoroughly.
The bilateral meeting resulted in Azmin and Raimondo signing a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) to ensure supply chain resilience.
Furthermore, Azmin explained that both Tai and Raimondo had agreed to increase dialogue and consultation between both the US and Malaysia so as to address issues related to workforce governance practises in accordance to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework.
The international standards would undoubtedly give Malaysian businesses a competitive edge in the global markets, he said.
Aside from that, Azmin and Raimondo also co-hosted a roundtable session where top semiconductor industry players in the US and both leaders had ensured the resilience in supply chain although there is increasing demand for semiconductors in the aerospace, automotive and medical device industries.
From there, Azmin said the US firms had assured that they would continue in assisting the development of the ecosystem together with Malaysian SMEs and local vendors.
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