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MM2H Agents Association Second National Workshop 2015
MM2H Centre in collaboration with MM2H Agents Association (MM2HAA) will organize MM2H 2nd National Workshop 2015 on 15th October 2015 (Thursday) at the Multipurpose Hall, Ministry of Tourism and...
More concerted push for FDI needed Print E-mail
Monday, 27 July 2009 16:49

THE unprecedented hard times brought on by the global financial crisis still have some way to go before countries around the world can look forward to better days ahead.

Having succumbed to major losses in their export income, current accounts and investment values, these countries will be vying for a quicker recovery and are making efforts to shore up their “magnetism” to be among the first in line to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) to their shores.

Hopefully Malaysia’s recent economic liberalisation measures will place the country on a more equitable footing to vie for a share of the FDI pie. Although the lifting of the 30% bumiputra equity ruling for initial public offerings and the removal of the Foreign Investment Committee’s guidelines on equity acquisitions, mergers and takeovers, would certainly give a boost to the country’s image in the international front, more public and private sector initiatives to ensure the latest government measures are clearly communicated to the global business community are necessary.

If the liberalisation measures are expediently and efficiently implemented and the new liberalised environment is encouraged to flourish, they will provide a strong foundation for Malaysia to attract more local and foreign interest to set up business operations and regional hubs.

Malaysia stands a good chance to emerge as a stronger economy and to actively partake in the emergence of a new world economic order after the tumultous weather of the global crisis.

The global financial crisis has exposed a severe weakness in the present system and there is a need for a dramatic change in the global financial regulations, particularly in the United States, Britain and other developed economies.

In the coming years, global growth will be compromised by the disappointing performance of the developed economies. The consolation is that Asia stands a chance to bounce back stronger than ever before.

Economists expect Asia’s capital markets to emerge stronger through greater integration of its markets, progressive liberalisation and supportive national regulatory frameworks.

In this regard, Malaysia is also doing its part to stay competitive and has seen major liberalisation in its financial sector in recent months, aimed at enhancing competitiveness in its financial landscape as well as increasing foreign investors’ participation in its capital market.

Singapore and Hong Kong’s stature as regional financial centres and their attractive foreign investment and tax incentives are among the factors cited for their popularity as hotspots for high net worth foreigners to set up businesses and second homes. Of course their cosmopolitan lifestyles and world-class infrastructure, especially the highly integrated, easily acessible and affordable public transport system, make people from many parts of the world feel at home.

One of the top marks given to Singapore is for the safety and orderliness of the city state. It is also recognised as one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the world.

Singapore has done very well in the real estate sector and successfully attracted many high net-worth investors to set up homes. Among the Who’s Who in the celebrity circuit that own homes in the city state include famous Hong Kong movie stars Jet Li and Jacky Chan.

Some 25% of Singapore’s property were sold to foreigners in the last few years. Malaysia’s property sales to foreigners only made up 3% of the total RM2.5bil industry sales last year.

To leverage on the Government’s liberalised measures for the property market, Malaysia should further harness its potential as a real estate investment destination by having concerted plans and programmes to attract high net worth investors to set up businesses and homes.

The initiatives by the Malaysia Property Inc (MPI), a joint public-private sector initiative officiated by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop yesterday, is a commendable effort to promote Malaysia as an international real estate destination.

If MPI’s target to attract RM20bil in foreign real estate investment over the next 10 years can be achieved, Kuala Lumpur and Penang (the two favourite destinations for Malaysia My Second Home participants) should well be on their way to make it to the rankings of global cities. There should also be potential for the other cities to get into the radar of these foreign investors.

MPI should ramp up its overseas roadshows and programmes in the coming months to the potential markets. Its primary target markets include Singapore, Britain, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, while the secondary markets are China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. But to ensure MPI’s “seed planting” efforts bear the desired fruits, it will be necessary for Malaysia’s quality of life index, in terms of personal safety and security, and superior public transport system, to be placed as among the top agenda by the respective governing authorities and the private sector.

This will be the start of many more new initiatives needed to set the country on its path for greater visibility in the post-crisis new global economic order.

l Deputy news editor Angie Ng feels that the chaos and impoverishment caused by the global financial upheavals are good reasons for the people to go back to the basics of simplicity and inculcate more humanity and kindness for each other.

Source: http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/7/25/business/4383271&sec=business



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