Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) vice president Kevin Siah said although many economies worldwide were badly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the pandemic brought new opportunities as well.
“We can see at the beginning of the outbreak and when the lockdown was imposed (in China), global supply chains were badly disrupted because many of production of these crucial products are based in China.
“So, I believe post-COVID, many manufacturers will look to diversify their industry outside China. The ASEAN region is definitely the ideal location, and Malaysia should look at this opportunity,” he told Bernama in an interview.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had launched the National Economic Recovery Plan – a fast-paced step to rebuild and revitalise the economy in the short term – early this month.
Known as PENJANA, the RM35-billion plan include various initiatives and programmes aimed at attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI).
To make Malaysia more attractive to investors, the government is giving manufacturing companies that chose to relocate to Malaysia a zero tax rate for 10 or 15 years depending on the amount of capital investment made.
It is also giving a 100 per cent tax allowance for five years to encourage existing companies to relocate their overseas facilities back to Malaysia.
Siah said despite facing competition from neighbouring Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia, Malaysia is in an advantageous position for these investors in terms of competitive wages, knowledge-based workforce, investor-friendly policies, and a conducive and stable business environment.
“We need to be proactive in putting these measures into immediate action,” he added.
Siah also added that the International Trade and Industry Ministry and the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry can aid in enhancing the current tourism FDI to the country.
“It can be immediate revenue for the country,” he said.