Malaysia

THE COUNCIL IN MALAYSIA

The Malaysia Country Committee is the preeminent platform for US businesses to engage the Government of Malaysia on supporting its Economic Transformation Program (ETP) and Government Transformation Program (GTP) reform agenda as well as serving as a stakeholder consultation forum to enable its shift into a high-income nation and away from the middle income trap.

Our agenda includes support for:

  • Enhancing Malaysia’s global competitiveness via a more rule-based policy environment
  • Greater private sector-led growth initiatives
  • Better skills and human capital development
  • A leaner and more efficient public sector
  • Evolution of pro-growth affirmative action approaches
  • Continued improvements in infrastructure and connectivity
  • Promotion of high-value growth sectors

COMMITTEE PROGRAMS IN MALAYSIA

The Council, via the bilateral Malaysia Country Committee, leads annual business missions to Kuala Lumpur, a signature annual program for more than 20 years. Over a two to three day period, Council delegates meet with the top leadership of the Malaysian government and thought leaders. Key discussion themes include sector-specific interests in Malaysia under the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP), adoption of international standards and best practices, as well as leveraging Malaysia’s role in ASEAN and the “Asian Century.”

Looking ahead for 2014, we will continue to create opportunities for Council members to engage policymakers, both nationally and regionally, to derive parallels and intersections on our advocacy for policy and regulatory reforms that will support the development of Malaysia’s ETP and GTP reforms in the midst of a rapidly changing and competitive international environment.

COMMITTEE PROGRAMS IN THE U.S.

The Council regularly host events and dialogues with Malaysian government leaders including the Prime Minister, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Central Bank (Bank Negara) Governor in cities throughout the U.S. The Council also facilitates high level business to business industry-focused dialogues between U.S. and Malaysian corporate leaders and supports Malaysia Industrial Development Authority’s (MIDA) annual investments missions to the U.S.

SUCCESS STORIES AND HIGHLIGHTS IN MALAYSIA

The Malaysia Country Committee has been at the forefront of supporting the efforts of the U.S. business community to do business in Malaysia. Since 2003, the Council has successfully advocated for Malaysia to adopt policy reforms to relax limits foreign equity investment in a wide range of services (now up to 70%-100% depending on industry) and manufacturing industries (now up to 100%). Our advocacy efforts related to intellectual property rights protection (IPR) and enforcement have led to Malaysia creating specialized IPR courts and robust public-private partnerships to combat the export of pirated media products.

When the U.S.-Malaysia FTA talks began in 2006, the Council was appointed as the Secretariat for the U.S.-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement Business Coalition.

Most recently in September 2011, a joint statement by the Council and Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) was published in multiple news sites (Business Times, BERNAMA, etc.) under the heading “Strong US support for Malaysia’s ETP.”

COUNTRY SUMMARY

Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-religious, majority Muslim nation of approximately 29 million people. A former British Colony, Malaysia achieved political independence in 1963. The government has been led by a series of Prime Ministers from the UMNO (Malay majority) ruling party-led coalition. In recent years, Malaysia’s political structure has continued to evolve into more of a two party system as an opposition alliance of parties has increasingly been successful in competing and winning in federal and state elections. As a nation which once relied heavily on exporting raw materials as its primary engine of growth, Malaysia has been recognized for its rapid success into becoming one of the world’s leading trading nations with a diversified economy consisting of both export (energy, commodities and manufactured electronics) and domestic (financial services, tourism, and domestic consumption) led sources of growth. Bilateral relations between the United States and Malaysia are based on robust engagement in the areas of trade & investment and defense & security cooperation.

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