The infrastructure in Malaysia is good and there is an integrated approach in attracting investments, Biocon Ltd Chief Operating Officer Dr Arun Chandavarkar said.
Like in any other country, many ministries and departments would be involved in any particular investment, but the difference in Malaysia is that the process is seamless, he said.
Biocon have biotechnology-related plants in Bio-Xcell Park in Johor.
Malaysia is ranked as the No. 1 most popular emerging market destination beyond BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), according to the CBI and Ernst & Young outlook for October 2011-Apr 2012.
Malaysia is the 10th most attractive destination for foreign direct investment in 2012, based on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation 2013, and is 12th in ranking for ease of doing business, according to the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Report 2013.
Malaysia is also ranked the 14th Most Competitive Economy (source: World Competitive Yearbook, 2012); 24th Global Trading Nation (source: Global Competitive Index 2013, World Bank) and 29th Most Networked Economy (source: Global Information Technology Report 2012, World Economic Forum).
"In most countries, you got to go door-to-door. In Malaysia, everybody knows what are the key sectors and it makes the process (of opening up business) much easier," said Arun.
“I have been importing palm oil from Malaysia for over 15 years and never had any problems. The process have always been seamless,” said a participant at the “Business Opportunities in Malaysia” seminar held in Chennai Tamil Nadu recently.
The issues are always at the ports here, he said in jest.
Mustapa lead the mission to Bangalore, Karnataka and Chennai in Tamil Nadu. For the first time ever, the trade and investment mission saw the inclusion of small and medium enterprises.
Chennai-based Shriram EPC assistant general manager, Prashant Pandarungan, was surprised not only by the fact that the Malaysian ministry along with agencies involved in attracting investments have a hands-on approach but also by the speed with which it works.
The company, which is keen on establishing a joint venture with Malaysian firms for engineering projects such as cement plants and water waste treatment, was offered multiple-entry visa by Mustapa when the request was put forward.
Firstly, it is not easy to meet ministers face to face, he said.
“Secondly, when I told (the Minister) we need visas to be able to establish a good business relationship, he immediately offered visas for 10 representatives of our company,” said Prashant.
Shriram EPC, an engineering solutions company, is part of the $9 billion (RM29.9 billion) public-listed Shriram Group, and has business interests in India, Middle East, African Region and Australia.
“The gentleman who spoke about doing business in Malaysia for 15 years, I know him personally. So when he said that he didn’t face any problems, I would take it at face value and we only want to operate in such markets,” he said.
This is exactly what businesses expect from the government or country, he said, adding that, “today, when I say I want to concentrate on international projects, I am saying so because it doesn’t seem to be happening this smoothly in India.
“Earlier companies were competitive and now countries are getting competitive and it is extremely impressive (to see Malaysia’s effort in attracting investments),” he said.
He noted his regrets that Shriram did not look into entering Malaysia earlier.
“Sad that we are late in entering the market. But better late then never. Being a little late, hopefully we would compensate for all the time and make it up,” said Prashant, who is looking forward to opening a representative office in Malaysia as soon possible.
The firm is also looking for technology partners in concentrated solar power technology as well as in the manufacturing of solar photovoltaic.
Besides promoting trade and investment, Mustapa visited Malaysian-owned Sathya Auto Pvt Ltd. He also met up with several companies which have interests in investing in Malaysia as well as with existing investors who are keen to expand their operations.
Among others, he invited Indian auto part manufacturers to invest in Malaysia as the country aims to boost its export in the field.
Chennai with a string of international carmakers and suppliers’ presence, namely Ford Motor Co, Hyundai Motor Co, Daimler AG, BMW AG, Nissan Motor Co and Renault SA, is known as the Detroit of India and is fast emerging as the Detroit of South Asia.
He stressed that India is an important market for Malaysia and continuing trade missions and dialogues between many Malaysian companies that have a presence here was a crucial factor in boosting trade ties.
Since 1998, India has been Malaysia’s largest export destination in the South Asia Region. Bilateral trade between the two nations is expected to touch $20 billion by 2015. – Bernama, February 10, 2014.