MALAYSIA could use specific power tools that attract billions in foreign direct investments (FDIs) in Dubai, said Malaysia Business Council, Dubai secretary-general Cheah Kian Choong.
He claimed that this must be accompanied by a national Master Plan to bring FDIs home, thanks to a system he referred to as Identify, Engage, Incentivise, and Convert (IEIC) that has served him well in his responsibilities in the Middle East region.
“Malaysia needs to rebuild its economy through an influx of FDIs and for this, there is the need for a master plan. The IEIC could be a catalyst for Malaysia as the plan has been successful in Dubai-Fujaira,” Cheah FocusM.
Cheah, a Malaysian, has been in the Middle East for eight years and worked as an FDI investment advisor and business development advisor in Dubai-Fujaira.
He was responding to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who said yesterday that the Government will take steps to attract quality investments while transitioning to a low-carbon economy and improving social protection.
He said it must also strengthen fiscal resilience by ensuring that economic structural reforms are carried out systematically.
Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, further noted that this would boost growth and strengthen the economy.
To achieve a solid FDI flow, Cheah noted that the country has to identify the targeted investors be they regional, sector or international.
“Without this, it is almost like diving into the ocean floor to look for a needle which will prove disheartening and fatal,” he warned.
He also said that the country must engage with the above-identified investors by letting them know the unique value propositions Malaysia is offering and why they should come to invest.
To attract investors of quality and those who would help steer Malaysia into the new era of a low-carbon and green economy, there must be a series of incentives.
“Incentivise. Sweeten our package deals so that it becomes something that they cannot refuse, be they via sustainable green initiatives, tax breaks, matching investments, subsidies rentals or promotional interest rates,” he urged.
He stressed that this way, Malaysia will be able to convert the targeted investments into actual commercial long-term projects that will provide economic value to the country and to the investors.
“That means each of these successful investors will become a role model and an avid fan that will subsequently be part of Malaysia’s FDI Promotion Ambassador and hence more investors will follow,” he pointed out.
Cheah is an award winner in Foreign Direct Investment and Investor-Government Relations. He is recognised for delivering high-impact and strategically significant outcomes in areas of Investments and Business Development across the Middle East, China and parts of ASEAN. – Dec 16, 2022
Main photo credit: The Edge Markets