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US companies ready to pump more money into Malaysia
NEW YORK: At least two major American companies have expressed their interest to make additional investments in Malaysia, thus attesting to their continued confidence in the government’s efforts to create a positive environment for investors.
ConocoPhillips, the United States’ third largest integrated energy company and fifth largest refiner in the world, may make an additional US$5 billion (RM15.7 billion) investment in their operations in offshore Sabah, which will see a production of 300,000 barrels of oil a day by 2016.
It had already pumped in US$1.5 billion in terms of investments for its interests in three deepwater blocks off Sabah: Block G, Block J and the Kebabangan (KBB) Cluster. It is expected to start production next year.
Eastman Chemical Company is looking at making an additional investment of US$350 million for its co-polyester plastics plant in Pahang.
Officials from these two companies met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at a roundtable meeting with American business leaders at the Harvard Business School Club here.
“These companies expressed confidence in the investment opportunities in Malaysia and of their satisfaction with our policies.
"This also reflects on our ability to compete with other countries in the region and that we are at the forefront in attracting foreign investments to our shores."
Najib said he had agreed to the undertaking of a study on the potential of generating power from the ocean in offshore Sabah.
The request came from the Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation chairman and chief executive officer Jeremy Feakins, whom he met after the roundtable.
AIG Chartis, an international insurance and financial services organisation, is also keen to set up backroom operations in Malaysia.
Najib said he was happy with the outcome of his two-day working trip to the US, as he was able to get first-hand feedback from the investing community here.
"One constraint raised was of our skill sets, especially among degree and PhD holders, to undertake high-value jobs. It is crucial for us to produce the right skill sets."
He also said it was the government's task to narrow the divide between the perception and reality of what was happening in the country.
"We have to encourage those in Malaysia to be third-party validators to convince the others who don't know about us."