ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Investment doesn’t threaten Malaysia
By David Swartzentruber
Moving forward to 2011, Asean Affairs has frequently reported on the issue of “hot money,” capital inflows streaming into Asean countries. Most of this investment goes into stocks or other vehicles that have high liquidity as investors seek better returns in Asia than are found in the west. When higher returns are found elsewhere, then these investments can be rapidly switched. This is what happened in 1997 when the speculative bubble burst.
Malaysia has developed another highway for investors to travel through its Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The ETP was announced in October 2010 with the goal of achieving a per capita income of US$15,000-US$20,000 by 2020, bringing Malaysia into the ranks of developed nations.
At the recent fifth update of the ETP, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that a total of RM11.16 (US$3.7 billion) had recently been invested in 72 projects that would create about 75,000 jobs. New projects include the establishment of an electrical home appliance manufacturing hub and an international distribution network in Penang. The entire program has so far generated RM 106.40 billion (US$35.7 billion) and created 300,000 jobs.
Although Malaysia still has an active stock exchange, the Bursa Malaysia, and it surely benefits from hot money capital inflows, the announced success of Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme is noteworthy.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below