New trade advisory council to discuss National Automotive Policy

International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking.

KUALA LUMPUR: The newly-established trade and advisory council (TIAC) is set to discuss the National Automotive Policy (NAP) as well as rebalancing the ratio between foreign direct investments (FDI) and domestic direct investments (DDI) in its upcoming meetings.

International Trade and Industry (Miti) Minister Darell Leiking said the council is expected to play a crucial role in shaping the ministry’s policies, strategies and potential reforms in international trade, investment promotion and industry development.

“TIAC will have a minimum of four meetings annually.

“In the next meeting, we will discuss NAP as well as the White Paper on the steel industry and the shipping sector,” he told reporters after chairing the inaugural TIAC meeting as well as Aidilfitri event here today.

TIAC consists of 12 representatives from the finance ministry, Bank Negara Malaysia, Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Federation of Sabah Industries, among others.

However, Leiking did not disclose further topics related to NAP to be discussed in August.

“Ask further questions in August,” he said when asked on Miti’s commitment to facilitating potential investors in hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

He, however, reiterated that TIAC is mandated to advise the government on initiatives to strengthen Malaysia’s trading partnerships, attract quality FDI, unlock innovation to drive industrial growth and bring more Malaysians into the labour force.

It was reported that the government plans to complete the review of the NAP by the second quarter of 2019 (2Q19).

Commenting on FDI and DDI, Leiking said Malaysia must have a balance of both and support DDI.

“DDI has fallen but we will encourage it and find ways to improve it and make domestic investors invest more in the country.

“We must not forget there are a lot of investors who have invested domestically through DDI,” he added.

According to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), foreign investments increased by 73.4% to RM29.3 billion in 1Q19 from RM16.9 billion in 1Q18, while realised FDI increased to RM21.7 billion in 1Q19.

However, domestic investments approved in Q1 2019 amounting to RM24.6 billion, contributing 45.6% to the total.

Leiking said the representatives appointed to the council have varied expertise and experience across industries.

“We would like to get their opinions and proposals that can help us shape the country to prepare for future challenges.

“We must curate the way we govern the country and for Miti to bring in more investors, while formulating new investment strategies and philosophies,” he said.