PETALING JAYA: Companies from the United Kingdom (UK) are keen to invest in Malaysia post-Covid-19 pandemic due to expansion opportunities in the country, said the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce.
CEO Jennifer Lopez (pix) said despite that the current challenges in the world, she has a positive outlook for the Malaysian economy post-pandemic as she observed UK companies coming to Malaysia looking for opportunities to invest and expand their businesses.
“In fact, for example, for these awards, we have UK investors or companies (representatives) coming in for them, so they see Malaysia as a great place to grow, a great place to set up their regional centres,” she told SunBiz at the British Malaysia Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2022 recently.
Based on Lopez’s observations, despite Malaysia facing its own challenges, the response from UK investors has been positive and the existing companies that have a presence here are “very keen to expand”.
“The trust has been built with the UK investors in Malaysia and they are willing to dialogue with the Malaysian government, to ensure that Malaysia is continuously a preferred destination for UK investors and exporters,” she said.
Meanwhile, green technology is an emerging Malaysian industry that the UK is interested in, as both countries have plans to boost sustainability.
Last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Malaysia is committed to its target of becoming a carbon-neutral nation by as early as 2050, in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan.
The UK government, meanwhile, has a 25-year Environment Plan and net zero strategy, where its vision is for the UK to be the world-leading education sector in sustainability and climate change by 2030.
“In the chamber itself, we have a sustainability network. What we are trying to do is that, while we raise the awareness about the importance of climate action, we also provide platforms where companies, especially Malaysian companies, can get the support, solutions and expertise to implement the targets, the programmes towards their own sustainability goals,” Lopez said.
She added that UK companies are technologically advanced in this area and, through partnerships, they are willing to share their expertise and provide solutions in order to support Malaysia’s net zero ambitions.
In terms of economic contribution, she said UK investors ought to be given recognition for being a key contributor to talent development because when the UK companies set up a local branch, they will invest in the training and upskilling of local talent and, with that, Malaysians have the opportunity to work in an international company and acquire additional competencies that come along.
She stated that in order to attract foreign investors, more public and private partnerships as well as dialogue with the investor community is vital to boost more investments into the country.
The Business Excellence Awards 2022 celebrated the success and noteworthy strides of UK and Malaysian businesses in the respective categories as well as advance trade and commerce relations between the two countries. The award winners include Owen Mumford Malaysia (UK-Malaysia Business of the Year), AstraZeneca Malaysia (UK-Malaysia Partnership of the Year), Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia (Diversity and Inclusion), Arup Jururunding Sdn Bhd (Technology and Innovation), Lancaster University (UK-Malaysia Education Institutional Partnership) and Sime Darby Property (Outstanding ESG).