KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia remains an attractive investment destination for US businesses due to certain advantages country has, according to the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).
AMCHAM president Ramzi Toubassy said many US companies brought their regional staff here as they have the advantage of learning and communicating in three main languages such as Mandarin and Cantonese for Chinese, Tamil and Hindi among Indian communities as well as English.
"As an example, I am the chief executive officer of a company in Malaysia and we bring in our own financial, actuaries and information technology (IT) staff here.
"Hence, we need to see what Malaysia has to offer and that is a great deal for US businesses. In fact, the standard of living here is also very good as compared to Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan or South Korea which is more expensive.
"As a result, you can see many regional hubs slowly starting to enter the Malaysian market.
"In that regard, you do not see any trade war happening here. But it is important to see what Malaysia has to offer as a country and how it is progressing in the future," he told reporters reporters ahead of the two-day Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) 2018 Business Summit, which starts tomorrow.
Besides that, Toubassy said it is too early to measure the impact of rising trade war tensions between the US and China, as well as on American investments to Malaysia.
He said US companies have been doing business in Malaysia for over 50 years adding that both countries enjoy strong business relationship.
"I think it is too early to talk about a trade war.
“Whatever happens, the US businesses (in Malaysia) is very strong. As evident, in terms of trade for January 2016 to January 2017, Malaysia's exports to the US increased by more than 22 per cent and US imports here rose by more than 11 per cent.
"In my view, we are very stable in the country and it is too early to talk about trade war. Malaysia will continue to be an important investment destination for US companies," he said.
Speculation on trade war between US and China sparked as US President Donald Trump imposed a tariff of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium at the beginning of last month.
The move then received a counter-reaction from China when the republic's government yesterday imposed tariffs on 128 US imports of US$3 billion (RM11.6 billion).