Tuesday, October 6, 2009

FDI - Good or Bad???

Recently I attended the annual PTDs conference in INTAN Bukit Kiara.
There were many distinguished speakers presenting their views. Among them were MAS Chairman, Dato' Munir and of course the much awaited Tun Dr Mahathir.

Dr Munir boldly said that Malaysia was not ready for political change. The recent change caused a long uncertainty period, where important policy changes.

We should emulate Japan, where Public service actually runs the country. The too-frequent change in Political government do not bring about uncertainties as suffered here.

Tun in his talk on Vision 2020, what we have achieved and what's next agreed that FDI which according to him, he was the inventor, did not bring much gain to the country. In fact, there was not much foreign investment at all...only 10% of the investment were foreign, whereas the other 90% was borrowed from local banks!

After the ten-year pioneer period, they just moved their companies, lock stock and barrel, to other countries which now believe in FDI.

Except for the jobs offered, these companies did not give much to the country.

However, ironically, we still are looking forward for FDI for our development.

I am no economist, but that was what I heard from Tun himself.

To the economists out there, kindly give your comments.


Martin Lee said...

FDI is important not because of just money is coming in. We Malaysian banks have a lot of money but they only want to lend out to viable well known corporations. It is the employment that trained our Malaysians. There are some good multinational companies such as HP, Intel etc. that really transferred certain degree of technology and also the skill of management to the locals. Taking Companies such as Acer as an example, they only transferred the manufacturing techniques, all R&D and Marketing are intentionally left behind in Taiwan. High end products are also made in Taiwan. These companies made a bigger profit margin when they received direct payment from overseas customers to Taiwan HQ bank accounts but a low transfer pricing is given to the Malaysian companies to evade the taxes payable to the Malaysian government.

During 911, FDI companies shunted Malaysia because goods sent to US with Malaysian origin were stucked in the ports. And many multinational companies took the opportunity to shift their operation to lower cost China and they never return anymore.

Many local suppliers benefited from FDI as these corportions set a higher standard on the quality requirement and therefore they are forced to improve themselves to international standards in order to compete for the jobs.

No country in the world would want to reveal their trade secret and teach you everything on the latest technology because we are talking about survival and global competition. So are the Taiwanese and Japanese! We cannot blame the foreigners and our banks! We Malaysians have to be smart instead of quarreling amongst ourselves on rights and policies. We were stagnant for the past 10 years for all the nonsense that we were in!

See how China has emerged as the super economic power just after 10 years of FDI going in there! They seized the right opportunity and work hard on their own in one accord and build their economy based on a foundation of their own market size of a huge population.

azahar said...

Thank you for enlightening me on FDI...You're so knowledgable in this subject.