KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been named by Forbes as one of the top recipients of foreign direct investment, followed by Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and India.
The American business magazine said Malaysia top place is reflected by an outsized 64 per cent increase in foreign capital last year compared to 2015.
Quoting Healy Consultants PLC, Forbes said the government of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is considered pro-business and the country offers tax breaks on capital expenditures for research and development (R&D), exempts duties on imports used by high-tech firms and offers a 10-year tax break of up to 70 per cent for companies in priority sectors such as tourism, manufacturing and technical training.
“Malaysia isn’t Asia’s bargain basement, but prices are fair,” the Forbes article said.
It said Singapore takes a free-port approach to inbound investment while Vietnam's low land prices, minimum wages plus economic growth are the attraction for foreign factory investment.
As for Indonesia, Forbes viewed the continued policy reforms intended to ease red tape would help attract investors, particularly in the mining and energy, plantations and financial services.
India's low wages and a young population and liberalising industries has steadily attracted a range of foreign firms. Investors are chasing automotive production, telecoms and bio-manufacturing, taking advantage of government incentives in some cases, Forbes said.