KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli today said that the government is looking to improve the startup and business environment in Malaysia, as the country looks to attract more international investments and businesses.
During a sharing session with startup industry players organised by Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP), Rafizi said that Malaysia could potentially have more to offer to international businesses and startups than its regional competitors, Indonesia and Singapore.
"Indonesia will go through some political transition, Jokowi is coming to the end of his term and Indonesia is very much defined by who is the president,” he said regarding Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo.
"Slowly the tide is turning, you will see more policy certainties in Malaysia than what you have seen in Indonesia in the past ten years,” he said at the event held in Ilham Tower, Jalan Binjai here.
Jokowi first took office as Indonesia’s president in October 2014 and will reach the end of his maximum ten years in office sometime next year.
Rafizi also said that Malaysia has a competitive advantage over Singapore as the cost of living is significantly lower here.
"The position that Singapore had as an investment hub for tech as a launchpad for this region, I think Malaysia can contest it really well at a much lower cost,” he said.
He added that Malaysia is culturally more similar to Indonesia — which is one of the largest markets regionally with a population of over 270 million people — making Malaysia a more advantageous choice than Singapore as a launchpad into the Indonesian market.
He also said that Malaysia has its diverse and "international-minded” workforce as another asset.