Malaysia Can Be More Attractive

Malaysia and Southeast Asia can be more attractive to European investors by improving their intellectual property rights (IPR) treatment, which is important for high-tech and knowledge-based industries.
    “There is more stability here, and if you can show this is a secure place, you can be a hub for the many new European companies which would like to enter Asia,” said Anders Lundwall, senior vice-president of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.
    Lundwall, who was on a one-week visit to Malaysia recently at the invitation of the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida), said Swedish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are not yet active in this region.
    He said the incentive package in Malaysia is interesting for foreign investors, especially with Mida specialists that can discuss with potential exporters and foreign investors to tailor make attractive incentive programmes for them.
With environmental regulations going strong in Sweden, there is also potential for Malaysian companies with strengths in water and waste treatment, and in renewable energy, Lundwall added.
    He said Swedish SMEs have traditionally piggy-backed on large companies when venturing to overseas markets. There are more than 90 Swedish companies with interests in Malaysia, including global brands like Volvo, SAAB, Scania, Ikea to Pfizer.
    “We have many Swedish companies interested in sourcing products and production facilities to combine with the products produced in Sweden,” Lundwall said.
    Sixty five per cent of Swedish exports go to the European Union, a market of 500 million people.
    Many of the Swedish SMEs are now marketing their own products in emerging markets, and this is a fairly new phenomenon to the Swedish companies that had focused so much on Europe before.
    “There is a potential for those interested in selling their products, finding their partners, and opening up production facilities in Asia,” he said.
    Sweden companies are particularly strong in biotech and pharmaceuticals, Lundwall said, adding that companies providing tools for research are in a relatively good position for the next 10 to 15 years in these relatively new industries

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