Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Net Foreign Investment Outflow Is No "Blip"

Pua tells Nazir to study report on FDI
Harakahdaily

PETALING JAYA, July 27: DAP economist Tony Pua has responded to CIMB chief Nazir Razak's claim that the plunge in foreign investment was not necessarily negative, saying Nazir should look into details provided by the UN's Foreign Investment Report (WIR) 2010 before giving his judgement on the country’s performance.


“Nazir should study this chart; (it) tells you that net negative investment flow is not 1-off but a clear-cut trend,” said Pua in a message on Twitter.

He was responding to media report quoting the top banker as saying it was not necessarily a bad thing to have lower net investment flow for the country, and urged that the 2009 plunge in Malaysia’s foreign direct investment be studied carefully before jumping to conclusions.

Nazir’s optimism was not shared by Pua, who said the data clearly showed that the trend of both local and foreign investors existing Malaysia for overseas was unmistakable as the country had been suffering from a steady outflow of FDI over the past decade based on the chart.

Pua, however, said Nazir was probably only responding to a question.

“To be fair, Nazir probably didn't see the full data. Bernama just asks him off the cuff,” wrote Pua, who is also the Petaling Jaya Utara member of parliament.

Referring to the chart, Pua pointed out that not only foreign investors had been unwilling to invest in Malaysia, both local investors and foreign investors have a total lack of confidence in the ability of the country's economy to generate an attractive return for their investments.

This contributed to a decline in FDI from US$2.56 billion in 2004 and US$1.09 billion (2005), to a net negative US$0.02 billion (2006), negative US$2.7 billion (2007) and negative US$7.67 billion in 2008.

“The figures show clearly that there is money to be invested, they are just not investing in Malaysia. The investors now see improved and better opportunities in the region and abroad even during the times of crisis,” he said.

Pua also warned that if there were no necessary and critical changes to the Government's economic policies, the economy would continue to drift and shunned by local and foreign investors, while neighbouring countries would steadily improve their economies beyond the nation’s reach.
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