Selangor Journal
Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari (left) accompanying the Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah (second from right) during his visit to an exhibition stall at the Selangor International Business Summit 2021, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, on November 18, 2021. — Picture by REMY ARIFIN/SELANGORKINI.

MB: Wooing foreign investors into Asean markets

By Alang Bendahara

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Foreign investors should take advantage of Selangor’s position as Malaysia’s economic powerhouse to tap into Asean markets.

Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari said the state offers foreign investors innumerable advantages for their post-pandemic plans to penetrate the Asean and international markets.

“Supporting its position as the Gateway To Asean is Selangor’s strategic location, served by two major international airports, the second busiest container port in the region, multiple advanced domestic rails, as well as road and air links to economic hubs within the country.

“Additionally, Selangor’s well-established value chains within numerous industries structured offline and online connectivity, and excellent support by the state government makes Selangor ideal for foreign investors to make it their global business hub.

“Indeed, Selangor offers foreign investors innumerable advantages for their plans to penetrate the Asean and international markets,” he said in his opening speech for the Selangor International Business Summit (SIBS) 2021 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, here today.

Amirudin said SIBS 2021, a key annual initiative by Selangor, is a major networking avenue to introduce Asean and international businesses to find out the opportunities available in the state.

“It is time for economic recovery and reinvention, not just for Selangor but for all our friends in Asean and the world.

“The chance to connect business to new opportunities is undoubtedly important amidst a highly challenging economic environment today.

“SIBS 2021 will continue its role as one of the Asean region’s premier business summits, where local and international industry players can convene to explore the great potential of the Asean market,” he said.

Speaking on Asean’s potential in the post-pandemic economic recovery, Amirudin said the region remains an attractive destination for foreign investors.

“Despite the hiccup, experts still consider Asean as having the vast potential to lead the regional FDI (foreign direct investment) recovery, due to its solid fundamentals and its steady progress towards intra- and inter-regional economic integration.

“Other major factors that make Asean an attractive investment destination include its young population, resilient economies and growing middle-class,” he said.

He said investor confidence is returning to the region, with its share of global foreign direct investment (FDI) rising from 11.9 per cent in 2019 to 13.7 per cent in 2020.

While investment within Asean rose by 5 per cent to US$23 billion, pushing up the intra-Asean share of FDI in the region from 12 per cent to 17 per cent.

“These figures are indeed very encouraging signs for Asean economies. But it is also important to recognise the story behind these numbers, that our economies and people remain resilient amidst severe challenges.

“As Asean economic bloc moves towards better integration, foreign investors stand to gain from its vast single market comprising over 600 million people and the third-largest labour market behind India and China. Investors can also benefit from Asean’s trade agreements on par with international best practices and are more responsive to regional changes and realities.

“This is what makes Asean robust, progressive and prosperous. As the world gears towards reopening economies, Asean now has an opportunity to reclaim its position as the premier investment destination of the world,” he said.

With the theme ‘Selangor the Gateway to Asean’, the hybrid event takes place in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from November 18 to 21 in a hybrid format.

This is the 5th edition of the state government-backed conference and exhibition series since its inception in 2016. Themed as ‘Selangor the Gateway to Asean’, the event brings together global brands and congregating industry players from around the world.

The physical event features about 500 booths, while its virtual form can be accessed via www.selangorbusinesshub.my and will showcase about 800 booths.

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