NEW YORK: Despite the rivalry between the United States (US) and China, the tension in the South China Sea and China’s recent huge increase in investments in Malaysia, the US is still the country’s top investor, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Anwar said Malaysia is an independent country and welcomes trade and investments from everyone, adding that the past and present US administrations have always been supportive and traditional allies.
“We have excellent ties with China too. I feel comfortable meeting President Xi Jinping, and I have also met with Premier Li Qiang three times,” he said during a question and answer session at the Invest Malaysia New York event here, organised by Bursa Malaysia.
Earlier on, the prime minister had delivered his keynote address, titled “Regaining Malaysia’s Lead in Asia”.
Over 100 representatives from major US companies and fund managers attended the event, as well as the roundtable discussion with Fortune 500 companies held earlier.
“That, to me, places Malaysia in a unique position to utilise and benefit from our relationships with both the US and China,” he said.
Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, said Malaysia has been benefiting from vast investments made by major US firms, such as Amazon Web Services, Boeing and Intel.
He said Malaysia remains one of the countries with the best infrastructures in the region, and is continuously taking steps to alleviate investors’ concerns such as the ease of doing business, financial procedures and corruption.
In 2022, the US topped Malaysia’s list of foreign direct investments with a net inflow of approximately RM37.8 billion.
Last month, outgoing US Ambassador to Malaysia, Brian McFeeters said US companies have pledged investments totalling RM100 billion in various sectors in Malaysia over the last 18 months.
He said these significant investments are in areas where the US wants to strengthen its presence, namely the electronics and semiconductor sectors, as well as the data centre segment which is a major growth area. - Bernama