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Mustapa: No investment deals struck during PM’s visit to US

 | October 23, 2017

Minister says trip was chiefly to raise the profile and positive perception towards Malaysia as a trade and investment partner.


KUALA LUMPUR: No investment deal was finalised during the visit by the Malaysian government delegation led by Prime Minister Najib Razak to the US last month, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said.

He said the visit from Sept 11 to 13 was aimed at raising the profile and positive perception towards Malaysia as a trade and investment partner among those in the US administration and congress.

“I wish to state that there was no investment agreement sealed between the Malaysian and US governments during the prime minister’s working visit,” he said.

He said this in his parliamentary written reply to a question by Batu Kawan MP Kasturi Patto, who asked the ministry to state the specific agreements and forms of investment that had been sealed in the meeting between Najib and US President Donald Trump at the White House on Sept 12.

She also requested the ministry to justify every agreement or investment, and why these were not presented to the Dewan Rakyat.

In his reply dated Oct 17, Mustapa said Najib’s visit to the US was meant to promote bilateral trade and strengthen the economic priorities between the two countries, as established six decades ago.

He said Malaysian investments in the US, including those by the private sector, had reached RM67 billion.

Malaysian companies have invested in equities, manufacturing, hospitality and entertainment, among others, he added.

“The companies’ respective boards of directors make the evaluations and decisions on the investments, and there is no need for these investment agreements to be presented in the Dewan Rakyat.”

He said during the visit, several meetings were held with American companies that had invested in Malaysia to encourage them to increase their investments. Meetings were also held with prospective investors interested in the electrical and electronics industry, as well as chemicals, apart from testing and standards.

“The government’s efforts to promote Malaysia overseas, including in the US, should be viewed as paving the way for more investment returns to the country.”

In the meeting with Trump, Najib announced that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) wanted to spend US$3 billion to US$4 billion (RM12.57 billion) on US infrastructure development.

This was in addition to the US$7 billion the fund had already invested there.

Najib also told Trump that Malaysia Airlines would buy 25 Boeing 737 jets and eight of the Seattle-based firm’s 787 Dreamliners, with another 25 737s slated for purchase in the near future.

Najib said the deal would be worth more than US$10 billion (RM41.9 billion) over five years.

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