PM Anwar to discuss investments in Malaysia with Tesla CEO Elon Musk

PM Anwar to discuss investments in Malaysia with Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and chief executive officer of electric car giant Tesla, Mr Elon Musk. (Photo: Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim, Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is set to meet billionaire Elon Musk, the chief executive officer of electric car giant Tesla, next week to discuss the latter’s investments in Malaysia.

“Elon Musk asked to consult with me (next week) to discuss the possibility of and his commitment to increasing his investments in Malaysia,” said Mr Anwar during a meeting with civil servants in Negeri Sembilan on Friday (Jul 7).

Mr Anwar said that Malaysia’s approach to boosting the economy is to attract domestic and foreign investments.

“If there is no investment, unemployment will increase. The economy will not grow.

“When I became prime minister, the national debt was RM1.5 trillion (US$322 billion) (and we had a) deficit of 5.6 per cent. I am thankful … that I have the opportunity to start reducing the debt and deficit in order to save the economy and the people of Malaysia,” he said.

According to local media, Tesla announced that it will officially enter the Malaysian market on Jul 20.

The electric car company had earlier received the approval of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to import Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) into Malaysia.

The American firm’s presence in Malaysia is expected to create skilled jobs and increase participation of local companies in the Tesla ecosystem, said the ministry.

MITI Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said that the ministry and its agencies will continue to enhance efforts to improve the ease of doing business in Malaysia, while continuously profiling the country as pro-trade, pro-industry and pro-investment.

“We will also strategically leverage on our established electrical and electronics ecosystem to make Malaysia the preferred investment destination for technology related to electric mobility,” he added.

On Mar 7, Mr Anwar told parliament that Tesla as well as tech giant Amazon Web Services only agreed to come to Malaysia after the government stabilised. According to the Malay Mail, he noted that investment talks with the two companies began in Dec 2019.

Meanwhile, Mr Anwar said on Friday that besides his upcoming meeting with Mr Musk, he also met with Japanese investors last week who increased their investments in the country by RM20 billion.

He also noted that China’s investment of RM170 billion in Malaysia is at its highest in history.

“Start with good governance and good economic management,” said Mr Anwar on Malaysia’s efforts to improve its economy.

Source: CNA/ya(as)