Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chua: Liberalise more policies to bring in FDIs

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to liberalise more policies and open up further to foreign investors to draw in the millions.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who made the call, said that with the country’s foreign direct investments dipping by 81% last year, the logical thing to do was to liberalise more sectors to remain competitive globally.

“Besides enabling the country to attract more foreign businesses and encouraging them to make Malaysia their regional hub, liberalising the market will also create more jobs for our people,” he said in his keynote address at the 2nd World Chinese Economic Forum dinner at a hotel here.

He said the liberalisation of the services sub-sectors and removal of the 30% bumiputra equity requirement for newly-listed companies had made investment conditions less restrictive.

Dr Chua said the increase in the number of listings in Bursa Malaysia indicated that the moves were well received.

Based on Bursa Malaysia’s records, a total of 38 new listings of companies were recorded between June last year (when the equity requirement for newly-listed companies was removed) and Oct 15 this year, he said.

He said that last year, there were a total of 14 new listings but for the 10-month period for this year alone, there were already 23 new listings.

Urging the Government to maintain consistent policies, he added: “We cannot have an ambiguous or flip-flop policy where the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. If we need to simplify the way of doing business in Malaysia, by all means we have to make it happen.”

Dr Chua said that with the oil and gas sectors reaching a stage where Malaysia was already an established player on the global stage, the Government should consider liberalising the two sectors.

This was to allow more non-bumiputra investors to be joint-venture partners, contractors and sub-contractors in areas such as exploration, platform construction, logistics, deep-sea operations and others, he said.

Likewise, he said, the telecommunications sector should also be liberalised as increased competition would ensure that consumers got the best deals and services they deserved.

The MCA chief said Malaysia should be ambitious and bold enough to initiate a China-Malaysia Economic Caucus to enhance economic relations and explore possible areas of collaboration and cooperation in trade, technology and science.

“The growing outflow of capital from China seeking investment opportunities in the region has begun, and in future years and decades, it could multiply into a flood,’’ he said.

THE STAR (Wednesday November 3, 2010)

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