Charting Malaysia’s Strategic Transformation

As Malaysia works towards building new industries and attracting strategic investments, we need to understand what being “strategic” means.

I would describe being strategic as being able to decide on what not to do and what we do not want, and then choosing the right positioning for the Malaysian industry based on our strengths, which include a skilled and educated multilingual workforce, a Common Law framework, and strong logistic network.

By the end of 2024, I hope we can build a national consensus among ourselves and influence global corporate decision makers that:

1. Malaysia is the next Asia hub for high-end manufacturing, and not low-end labour-intensive manufacturing, as envisaged by the New Industrial Master Plan 2030. Electrical and electronics, aerospace, medical devices and pharmaceutical, and chemicals are among the key focus for sector development.

2. Malaysia is the next Asia hub for high-end services including regional headquarters, legal and arbitration, manufacturing-related services and logistics, engineering, and environmental services.

3. Malaysia becomes the fastest green transition nation in the region. There are much potential and possibilities for Malaysia to leapfrog in green industries such as renewable energy, electric vehicle (and its supply chain), carbon sequestration, sustainable agriculture and waste management.

I thank my friend, the CEO of Standard Chartered Malaysia, Joon Nien Mak for inviting me to their Global Research Briefing 2024.

This is my speech at the Standard Chartered Global Research Briefing 2024.

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