Malaysia needs to relax its foreign ownership policy: Jim Rogers

KUALA LUMPUR (July 1, 2013): Malaysia needs to relax its foreign ownership policy in order to maintain the country's position as an attractive investment destination in Asean, says American investor Jim Rogers.

He said Malaysia can emerge as an international financial centre if its foreign ownership policies were to be eased.

"When people think of Malaysia, they think the government owns or controls a major portion of the economy." he said, adding that the government should grant incentives to Malaysians who invest in companies that are privatised to speed up demand from investors.

"Assets disposed are sometimes better off in the hands of the private sector rather than with the government.

"International investors can go anywhere, and they don't go to places where there are restrictions and problems, they prefer the open, exciting and dynamics places.

"If you want to invest in a bank in the US, you just pick up bank bonds. There is no restriction on how much you can own and in how many banks, you can own whatever you want," Rogers added.

He said the government has to be quick in opening up Malaysia as the country has a lot going for it domestically.

"You have huge reserves, abundant natural resources and Malaysia is at the right place at the right time. Of the many countries that have opened up, I would say Malaysia is one of the most attractive.

"Malaysia has to show outside investors the vast opportunities available for foreign investors.

"There are many good companies and opportunities existing in agriculture and development, like what you have been doing in Johor, which could be exciting for Malaysia, as well for outside investors.

"You have to accelerate that trend, you have to let investors know that they are welcomed here and that they will be treated like everybody else." – Bernama