KUALA LUMPUR: The International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) aims to be more targeted in attracting and retaining investments, and this will start with its participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, said its Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
Tengku Zafrul said since his appointment as minister, he has had numerous engagement sessions with business chambers and investor groups, and have identified various key issues in not just attracting but also retaining the right investments to create high-skilled jobs for Malaysians, raise wages in general, and rebuild the middle class, post-pandemic.
This will ensure a more sustainable economic growth for the country in the long-term.
"To that end, Miti and the Malaysian delegation have three priorities to highlight during WEF which will be held on Jan 16-20, 2023, among them, to meet and explain the government's direction with specific industries, as well as to foster closer ties with the target international investment community.
"Secondly, we want to highlight the government and economic agenda in key issues in the global economy, especially the Malaysian government's policies, in the special panel forum in this year's edition.
"There are closed sessions, special sessions, and we will use these platforms to put forward the government's agenda and I've been invited to speak in several panels on Asean, global economic chain and risks," he told Bernama recently.
Among the scheduled sessions that the Minister will participate is on the cost of economic fragmentation, supply chain and transport, as well as a session entitled, "Living with Risk" in which Tengku Zafrul will be one of the three panellists.
Tengku Zafrul will also be in a two-panel session on Global Trade: Navigating the Post-Pandemic Supply Chain Challenge, together with Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group chairman and chief executive officer of Dubai-based DP World.
The session will focus on whether macroeconomic forces - such as inflation, geopolitical tensions, spikes in commodity prices, supply chain disruptions, and capacity constraints - will continue into 2023 and how companies can create more resilient supply chains.
The third priority of the delegation is to present the latest developments in Malaysia and information on the government's direction and thoughts on sustainable issues such as environmental, social and (corporate) governance (ESG), which are becoming important.
"We have to focus on the investment community which stresses on the ESG issue. The main narrative that Miti will also bring forward is political stability, after the recent general election, so that we can generate a more inclusive economy to help in attracting investment," he said.
The government is also committed to providing pro-business policies.
"We are open to business...want to put Malaysia as a strategic country for credible investments and gateway to Southeast Asia," he stressed.
Asked on the hot issues that will be discussed at WEF, Tengku Zafrul opined that the forum will be dominated by issues on concerns by the business community and government leaders on the global economic prospect which is looking gloomy in 2023.
"However, Malaysia needs to show that the global economic growth this year can be supported by the economic growth in Asia, including Malaysia."
This is especially so with China's reopening which will more or less help the economies in Asia and Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, he added.