Washington DC, May 11 — Malaysia is expected to garner RM14.62 billion in new investments from the US following the trade and investment mission (TIM) led by International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Azmin said many US-based companies had expressed their commitment to expanding their operations and footprint in Malaysia during his 10-day TIM which began on May 8.
“We are going to make some major announcements in the next few days in terms of the total new investments that have been committed by these companies,” he told Bernama and TV3 reporters in Washington on Tuesday.
Azmin has met several high-technology companies such as global semiconductor company Texas Instruments Inc and global materials supplier to the electronics assembly and semiconductor packaging industries Indium Corporation.
He is scheduled to engage with more hi-tech industry players during his upcoming visits to San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles.
Azmin said his ministry would continue its trade mission to attract more investments, and that the high-quality investments would create more jobs for Malaysian talents.
Meanwhile, he said US trade representative ambassador Katherine Tai had welcomed Malaysia’s suggestion on the revival of the Investment Framework Agreement (Tifa), and that he was hopeful that both countries could come to a conclusion on the activation of the agreement in the near future.
Azmin said Malaysia was principally open to further discussions on the matter with the US, as the last discussion on Tifa between the two countries was in 2005.
“But of course, we need to see how Tifa can accommodate and mitigate the global challenges that we are facing now, such as (to ensure) supply chain resilience,” he said after a bilateral meeting with Tai on Tuesday.
On the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) mooted by US President Joe Biden, which was raised during a separate bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on Tuesday, Azmin said Malaysia was open to more discussions on the matter.
“Being a small economy like Malaysia, we are open to more discussions on the matter. We want to ensure that the spirit of Asean centrality will be respected, and ensure that all Asean member states discuss the matter thoroughly,” he said.
A memorandum of cooperation on ensuring supply chain resilience was signed between Azmin and Raimondo following the bilateral meeting.
Azmin said both Tai and Raimondo had agreed to increase dialogue and consultation between the US and Malaysia to address issues related to workforce governance practices, in line with the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework, as well as international standards that would benefit Malaysian companies when competing in the global market.
Following the bilateral meeting, Azmin and Raimondo also co-hosted a roundtable session with top US semiconductor industry players, where both leaders ensured resilience in the supply chain despite soaring demand for semiconductors in the automotive, aerospace and medical device sectors.
“These companies also assured me that they will continue to help develop the ecosystem with the participation of SMEs and local vendors in Malaysia,” Azmin said.