The US-ASEAN Business Council meet held recently ended on a positive note on how both nations can advance collaborations in strategic sectors of the digital economy, medical sector, and green technologies in driving Malaysia’s progress in this trajectory.
Chaired by the Trade Minister, Dato Seri Azmin Ali, the meeting with leaders of the industries from multinational corporations such as Amazon, Cisco, General Electric (GE), IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, AirBnb, Citi Group, Coca-Cola, and Google where feedback and recommendations were exchanged particularly in advancing public-private collaborations on new growth areas.
A major trading block for Malaysia, the technologically advanced US is critical for our progression towards a digital nation, in this regard, IBM commended Malaysia’s active role in driving growth in the digital economy and highlighted that we could do more in advancing our digital infrastructure through the rolling out of the 5G technology. This was further echoed by Qualcomm, as they believe that 5G will be instrumental in driving socio-economic benefits by
enabling many business verticals from production to the delivery of goods. Similarly, our long-standing partner in the semiconductor space, Intel, expressed the view that the use of technology in improving trade facilitation will mitigate and advance the nation’s supply resiliency.
As for medical advancement, Johnson & Johnson views that the Malaysian Government should play a more prominent role in invigorating R&D for medical products and services. This can be further expanded by intensifying the role of digital technology in the medical sector. Indeed, there is substantial upside for the foreseeable future, particularly if we factor in the economies of scale that could be derived with extension to the ASEAN region.
On a separate note, Citi Group emphasised that Malaysia remained a key hub and a preferred destination for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). MIDA and Citi Group signed an MOU to provide end-to-end banking services to new and existing foreign investors in the country.
With climate action taking centre stage globally, the world energy leader, GE also commended the Government’s commitment to be net-zero by 2050 as outlined in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP). Additionally, Malaysia is spurring the mobility ecosystem growth in Malaysia by leveraging on advanced technology, especially in the area of Electric Vehicle, smart grid and IR4.0 technology, focusing on three areas of collaboration, namely, infrastructure, technology, and aftermarket services. To this end, we welcome businesses adapting to these transitions.
Over the years, US-ABC has helped advance the agenda of regional integration while elevating the relations between the US and ASEAN Member States, including Malaysia. Looking ahead, by capitalising on the synergy between Government and the private sector, both US and Malaysia are poised to pave the path for resilient and sustainable growth.