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Oleh/By		:	DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD 
Tempat/Venue 	: 	THE PAN PACIFIC HOTEL KUALA 
			LUMPUR (K.L) 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	27/03/90 
Tajuk/Title  	: 	THE FIRST MEETING OF THE TAIPEI 
			INVESTORS ASSOCIATION IN MALAYSIA 




 Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen,
    I would like to thank the Taipei Investors' Association
in  Malaysia for inviting me to address this inaugural meet-
ing of your Association.  I would also like to  congratulate
members  of the Taiwanese business community in Malaysia who
have had the foresight to initiate the formation of this As-
sociation.
2.   Today's event signals the coming of  age  of  Taiwanese
investments  in Malaysia.  In the past, when Malaysians men-
tioned Taiwan, we were either talking about  Malaysian  stu-
dents in Taiwan's universities, about the latest movies from
Taiwan,  or  about  Taiwanese  film  stars who are household
names in Malaysia.
3.   Today, when we mention Taiwan, we are probably  talking
about  the latest project set up by the Taiwanese investors.
Only a few years ago there was hardly any Taiwanese  invest-
ment in Malaysia.  Then the small and medium-scale companies
made  their first move into Malaysia.  Today, we see the big
names such as the Hua Loong Group, Evergreen and Acer.
4.   Over the past few years, the dynamism of Taiwanese  in-
vestment interest in Malaysia has been impressive.  In 1987,
Taiwan  took  third place after Singapore and Japan in terms
of number of manufacturing  projects  approved.    In  1988,
Taiwan  stepped into Japan's shoes to take second place, and
in 1989 Taiwan surpassed Singapore to take top position.  We
are confident that Taiwanese investments will continue to be
substantial in the years to come.
Ladies and gentlemen,
5.   The Malaysian press is also  contributing  to  our  new
perception  of Taiwan.  Besides reporting intensively on new
Taiwanese investments, our newspapers also give coverage  to
the   many  Taiwanese  business  delegations  that  come  to
Malaysia to explore business  opportunities.    We  hear  of
Taiwanese  companies  planning  to invest by the hundreds of
millions in a certain state, we hear of Taiwanese helping to
develop an industrial estate, and we hear  of  seminars  for
Taiwanese  investors.  Now, what does this mean to Taiwanese
investors and, particularly, to your Association?
6.   By virtue of the growing prominence  of  Taiwanese  in-
vestments in Malaysia, every latest development or move made
by  Taiwanese  investors seem to be highlighted.  Of course,
if it is good news, nobody really minds.  It is the negative
reports that causes people to sit up; such as the stories of
Taiwanese purchase of industrial land for  speculative  pur-
poses.  I do not want to elaborate on these negative issues.
I  touched  upon  this matter merely to show that there is a
need for an association in Malaysia such as yours to provide
a moderating influence on such negative reports.   With  the
formation  of  your  Association, there is now a responsible
voice to speak on behalf of Taiwanese investors in Malaysia,
and your Association can play a major role in preventing an-
ything from happening which will smear the good name of  the
whole community.
7.    Whatever the issues may be, there is no doubt that the
growing prominence of Taiwanese investments in Malaysia puts
a greater requirement on Taiwanese companies in this country
to act with responsibility and to be  good  corporate  citi-
zens.   You are businessmen, and as businessmen you would be
aware that in business one  irresponsible  action  sometimes
wipes out a whole lifetime of good business relations.  Sim-
ilarly,  it  needs only one irresponsible action by only one
Taiwanese investor to possibly  jeopardise  future  business
negotiations in Malaysia by Taiwanese businessmen.
Ladies and gentlemen,
8.   The dramatic upsurge in Taiwanese interest in Malaysia,
especially over the last two years, is by no means a passing
phenomena.  It might interest you to know that the number of
Taiwanese   investment   projects   approved,  that  is  298
projects, in just the two years,  1988  and  1989,  totalled
more than all Taiwanese projects approved before 1988.  This
similarly  applies to proposed Taiwanese capital investments
in 1988 and 1989 which totalled more than M$2.9 billion.
9.   This confidence in Malaysia's investment climate by the
Taiwanese business community and the recognition of Malaysia
as one of the most, if not the most, attractive countries to
invest in the South-East Asian region has been justified  by
the remarkable success of Taiwanese companies in Malaysia --
success  not  only  in terms of efficiently relocating their
manufacturing operations, but also in terms of  dollars  and
cents.
10.  The  upsurge  in Taiwanese investments can of course be
attributed to a number of, what people call, 'push  factors'
such  as the appreciation of the NT Dollar, increase in wage
rates in Taiwan, shortage of manpower, and the loss  of  GSP
status.    But,  I  believe,  this  tremendous  increase  in
Taiwanese interest in our country is also due to a large ex-
tent to the 'pull factors' in Malaysia.
11.  I believe one of the main concerns of Taiwanese  indus-
trialists  who invest overseas is the lack of protection for
their investments abroad.  One of the strongest pull factors
in Malaysia is our political stability.   As you  know,  the
same government has been ruling the country since Malaysia's
independence in 1957.  What does this mean to you?  It means
the continuation of government policies which enable the in-
vestor to conduct his business in a predictable environment.
Your  investment  also  receives  protection under our legal
system.  All foreign investments are protected by Malaysia's
laws.
12.  Whatever the other attractions Malaysia has in terms of
competitive labour costs, land price and so forth, I believe
the prime factor any investor should be  concerned  with  is
the  attitude  of the government and people of that country.
We have in Malaysia, a government and people that are  tuned
towards  acceptance  of  foreign  investments as a means for
achieving economic growth and industrialisation.  This atti-
tude ensures not just a fair deal but a welcome to the  for-
eign  investors.    No  one  wants  to  do  business  in  an
environment of uncertainty and hostility.
13.  A major concern would be  infrastructural  development.
Transport  investments  by the Federal Government have aver-
aged some 18% of development expenditure under our  Malaysia
Plans,  with  roads  and  ports  receiving substantial allo-
cations.  We understand and are fully aware of the need  for
good infrastructural facilities in order to make investments
worthwhile and profitable.
14.  Another area which we have looked into is the necessity
for  cutting  down on red-tape.  We have implemented certain
measures such as the Centre for Investments in the Malaysian
Industrial Development Authority or MIDA.   At State  level,
the State Economic Development Corporations are implementing
the same concept.
15.  Lastly, I would like to mention that Malaysia is always
looking  for  good corporate citizens in our business commu-
nity.  And one pleasing aspect of Taiwanese projects on  the
ground  is that about 95% of them are on a joint-venture ba-
sis with Malaysians.  Although this is based on MIDA's  sur-
vey  of  about  100 Taiwan companies in production as at the
end of 1988, and this picture might have changed slightly by
now, it demonstrates  the  compatibility  of  Taiwanese  and
Malaysian  entrepreneurs and we would like to encourage more
of such cooperation.
Ladies and gentlemen,
16.  Once again I thank you all  for  inviting  me  to  this
first  meeting of your Association.  I am sure the formation
of this body augurs well not only for its members  but  also
for  better  trade  and  economic  relations between our two
countries.
     Thank you.

 
 



 
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