Malaysia Invites Swedish Companies at Roundtable Meeting

The way Malaysians do business has changed and they now have a new way of doing it, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed when answering queries from Swedish companies during the Stockholm Roundtable Meeting, according to the online media, thestar.com.

During the session, Swedish companies were interested to know about the political situation in Malaysia, the level of skills among Malaysian knowledge workers and whether Malaysia really had the ability to execute.

“What is different now is in our planning. Now we have Pemandu, which monitors the status of every single entry point project on a weekly basis every Friday, in fact.

“Every two to three weeks, I chair the investment committee meeting,” Mustapa said.

On Malaysia’s level of skilled labour, he said Malaysia had universities and technical finishing schools to ensure that its knowledge workers were really qualified.

He added that the Government was hoping to sign the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union by mid-2012. So far, four rounds of negotiations have taken place.

During the meeting, Malacca’s chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam invited Swedish companies in the areas of stemcell research, oncology, and information, Communications and technology (ICT) to set up base in the state.

“Malacca is very dynamic in terms of health tourism. Every year, we receive some 100,000 overseas patients for medical treatment.

“We can assist the Swedish companies to make applications to the Federal Government for the research and development grants. We are very interested especially in stemcell and oncology,” Rustam said.

Also present during the meeting was Digistar Corp Bhd’s managing director Datuk Lee Wah Chong. He is currently in talks with several Swedish ICT companies on the possibility of business cooperations.

There are at present, 120 Swedish companies operating in Malaysia with 13 of them operating with MSC status.

Investment by Sweden amounts to US$439.8mil as of Dec 31, 2010. The European Union’s total investment is US$14.38bil.

Sweden is well known for its innovations, renewable energy, machinery and equipment and ICT industries.

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