Launch of the World Investment Report 2015

Jun 24, 2015

Yang Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI)

YB Datuk IR Hashim Samuri & YB Dato’ Lee Chee Leong, Deputy Ministers of MITI

Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Secretary General of MITI

Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Azman Mahmod, CEO of MIDA

Dr. Masataka Fujita, Head of the Investment Trends Section, Division on Investment and Enterprise of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Lead Author of the report

Excellencies and members of the Diplomatic Corps

The United Nations Country Team

Distinguished Guests

Members of the Media

Ladies and Gentlemen

Salam sejahtera and a very good afternoon!

On behalf of the United Nations Country Team in Malaysia, I would like extend our thanks to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) for hosting and co-organising the annual launch of the World Investment Report in collaboration with the UN system.  Since 1991, this yearly publication has been identifying the trends in foreign direct investment around the world and analysing in detail selected topics relating to foreign direct investment (FDI) and development.

Reforming International Investment Governance”, the theme for UNCTAD’s World Investment Report this year  builds on last year’s theme of “Investing in the SDGs: An Action Plan”. This year’s theme brings to the fore the opportunities for the reform of international investment regimes to enhance the protection and promotion of investments while offering a roadmap to guide policymakers at national, bilateral, regional and multilateral levels towards greater synchronisation. The Report’s recommendations would be useful for governments around the world to consider, including for Malaysia, in line with its Economic Transformation Programme, the recently announced 11th Malaysia Plan and also in the wider regional context as Malaysia leads ASEAN into the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). As Dr Masataka will no doubt elaborate in his presentation, the highest rate of activity in terms of FDIs in the last year was found to be in developing countries, by way of inflows as well as outflows “with firms from developing Asia (Malaysia included) now investing abroad more than any other region”. This reflects the high potential that the region possesses in attracting investments and leveraging such inflows to strengthen resilience and drive sustainable and inclusive development, as well as the ability to invest and contribute to sustainable development and prosperity outside its borders.

 In December 2014, just six months ago, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon unveiled “Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet” - a blueprint for the 15-year Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted by the 193 member states of the United Nations later this year, in September. Achieving this ambitious new global development agenda will require deeper policy analysis, and stronger institutions, delivery mechanisms and development cooperation to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, safeguard our planet, and ensure that the benefits of development can be felt and enjoyed by all. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development blueprint highlights that “an integrated sustainable development agenda requires an equally synergistic framework for its implementation, including financing, technology and investments in sustainable development capacities”.

The post-2015 SDGs is an ambitious global development agenda that can only be achieved if the various actors of development do their part in a responsible and cohesive manner - they include political leaders, the public sector, civil society, the private sector and citizens themselves. Investments, foreign and domestic, public and private, play important roles in the Road to 2030 – they possess the power to either positively or negatively impact upon lives and the planet that we live on. In this regard, the increasing numbers of reforms in International Investment Agreements (IIAs) to include provisions related to sustainable development are a welcome change and no doubt will contribute to the success of the post-2015 SDGs.

Building an ecosystem for investments to thrive responsibly in a manner that is civic and socially conscious, as well as environmentally responsible; in order to maximise the positive, and minimise negative impacts, are imperatives of our shared future. It therefore has been heartening to note, in the context of Malaysia, the prioritisation of ‘inclusiveness for an equitable society’ and ‘green growth for sustainability and resilience’ of national development investment, guided by the 11th Malaysia Plan towards achievement of its Vision 2020. These important thrusts, if expanded to shape as well Malaysia’s in-flowing and out-flowing foreign direct investments, will also support the global Sustainable Development Goals.

UNCTAD provides important policy options in connection with international investment agreements for the consideration of countries at all levels of development. I trust that governments and institutions like MIDA and the Ministry of International Trade and Investment that are directly involved in managing investments in support of Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme and the 11th Malaysia Plan, will find it useful to consider the key messages and policy recommendations of this World Investment Report, including the need to address the global gap in investment in sustainable development sectors such as infrastructure, health, education and climate change mitigation.  The UN Country Team in Malaysia as always stands ready to support public, private and civil society actors to ensure a sustainable and inclusive future for all in an integrated manner, and to contribute to addressing the increasingly complex requirements of a country and region that is both a recipient as well as provider of foreign direct investment.

With that I congratulate UNCTAD on yet another informative and in-depth Report aimed at harnessing and promoting the benefits of cross border investments for the good of all peoples and nations everywhere.

Thank you.

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