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My Nikkei Article: Malaysia Needs To Get Smarter About Foreign Investment
Or Fall Behind Its EM Peers
I recently had the distinct pleasure of participating in the writeup of a Nikkei Asia article with Guanie Lim, an assistant professor of the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo. Guanie was a contributor to the spellbinding book Trauma to Triumph: Rising from the Ashes of the Asian Financial Crisis on the Asian Financial Crisis from my book review last month.
Some of you may have heard about GRIPS in the news recently — when former BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda accepted a position at the university as a senior academic fellow just two weeks ago, as shown in the news articles below:
In the Nikkei article above, we discussed how Malaysia’s success at raising FDI commitments have not really translated historically into optimal allocation towards the most deserving industries by Malaysia’s policymakers. This might have contributed towards potentially stunted economic growth in the past — as scarce foreign investment was being channeled towards unproductive sectors, such as property development or waste management.
We also explored what other sectors Malaysian policymakers might do well to pay special attention to going forward as Malaysia steps into the limelight of geopolitical significance, owing to its highly strategic location in the Indo-Pacific — as gatekeeper of the Malacca Straits together with Indonesia, and owner of 7% of global TAM in the increasingly globally significant trailing-edge semiconductor testing equipment sub-sector.
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