Malaysia has set up a RM1 billion (US$314 million) fund that will give matching grants for investments made by companies in renewable energy, advanced electronics, aerospace, machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.
The Domestic Investment Strategic Fund, managed by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), has been open for application since its launch on July 3rd. It will provide matching grants for expenditures incurred in the following activities:
• Training of Malaysians
• R&D activities carried out in Malaysia
• Modernisation and upgrading of facilities and tools to undertake manufacturing or services activities for multinational corporations (MNCs) and Malaysian conglomerates
• Obtaining international standards/certification
• Licensing or purchase of new/high technology.
From left: Minister of Trade and Industry Datuk Sri Mustapa Mohamad, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and MIDA chairman Tan Sri Amirsham Abdul Aziz (in red) visiting the gallery showing off MIDA’s new building (photo credit: MIDA)
In his speech, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who also launched MIDA Sentral (MIDA’s new building and logo) that morning, said the fund is for Malaysian companies (at least 60% Malaysian shareholding) in “high value-added, high technology, knowledge-intensive and innovation-based industries.” Sectors other than those listed will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
One of the other four incentives that Najib also announced was the redefinition of a “small-scale” company from those having a shareholders’ fund of less than RM500,000 (former definition) to those with less than RM2.5 million (current definition). This enables more companies to enjoy incentives under the Promotion of Investments Act 1986.
On the rebranding, MIDA chief executive officer Datuk Noharuddin Nordin says: “MIDA Sentral is envisioned to be the investment focal point of the country, and we have world-class facilities to welcome and usher investors from every sector. With this new headquarters, we have expanded the Business Information Centre and improved front-line services. Our goal is to be an approachable and accessible one-stop meeting place between investors and our advisers.”
One of MIDA’s new main strategic objectives is to reposition Malaysia as the centre for high-technology activities and to generate quality investments in new and emerging technologies. Malaysia set new records for foreign direct investments (FDI) inflows in 2011 at US$11.97 billion compared to US$9.10 billion in 2010, with manufacturing being the largest contributor at 44.6% of total inflows and services at 35%.