This chapter includes the following articles.
Already one of the most trade-oriented economies in the world and an established regional leader in attracting foreign investment, Malaysia now aims to compete with Singapore as an alternative regional trade and investment hub for rapidly developing ASEAN. Although it boasts a liberal investment environment, foreign investment is restricted in certain sectors, especially retail, banking, agriculture and energy. The government is working to persuade multinationals to locate in Kuala Lumpur with a target to attract 100 firms from the Forbes 2000 list to invest in the Greater KL area by 2020. Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been ongoing since 2010, but have been delayed by disagreements between the various economies involved. However, a text could now be concluded by the end of 2014. Likewise, the ASEAN bloc’s integration process has significant momentum, and, with its well-funded banks and deep corporate equity and bond markets, Malaysia is well positioned to play a greater role in the entire region’s development. This chapter contains an interview with Anifah Aman, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group; Le Luong Minh, Secretary General, ASEAN; Zainal Amanshah, CEO, InvestKL; and Wan Saiful Wan Jan, CEO, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. It also contains a viewpoint from US President Barack Obama.