PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will prioritise improving the ease of doing business in the country to lure quality investments, said international trade and industry minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz.

He said the government will continue to streamline processes and monitor and track these investment processes closely and in real time through a project management and delivery unit within the ministry (Miti).

“We will chart the investment journey, from clearing approvals at the federal government level to facilitating at the state authority levels, with a clear timeline, milestones, and tracking of relevant deliverables to (help) businesses realise their investments in Malaysia,” he said in a keynote address at the Seminar on Business Opportunities in Malaysia held in South Korea, today.

Tengku Zafrul pointed out that Malaysia has much to offer when it comes to business with a skilled talent pool and strong economic fundamentals that are pro-business, prudent and pragmatic policies.

In the recent Budget 2023, the prime minister and finance minister announced for the priority sectors, a special tax incentive for relocation has been extended for two years until 2024.

“With this incentive, I believe it will continue to attract investors in the priority sector to relocate their businesses to Malaysia and propel our long-term growth through quality investment, technology transfer and capacity building,” he said.

He added these developments bode well for investments from South Korea, particularly in areas of high technology, innovation, knowledge-based, and skills-intensive industries to explore integrating with the country’s domestic supply chain, creating high-income jobs in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said among the issues discussed with South Korea’s trade minister Ahn Duk-geun was leveraging green and digital industries to strengthen not just the collaboration and engagement between private sectors but also for government-to-government.

“South Korea has free trade agreement (FTA) with Asean, perhaps we should look at how South Korea and Malaysia can expand on that,” he said in a video made available to Bernama.

South Korea was Malaysia’s eighth largest trading partner with total trade amounting to US$26.01 billion (RM116.5 billion) in 2022, an increase of 29.7% compared with US$21.01 billion (RM94.1 billion) in 2021.

In terms of investment, the country is one of Malaysia’s top sources of foreign direct investment in the manufacturing sector, with 374 projects worth US$9.2 billion (RM41.2 billion) being implemented, and generating 46,260 jobs as of June 2022.