ISLAMABAD: Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that he had offered tax holidays to foreign investors for two decades while sharing the “secret” of Malaysia’s economic success during a business conference held on Friday.
Mahathir Mohamad, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said wealth creation is the only way to improve crippling economy.
“Wealth is not created by the government but by people and investors,” he said while adding that “if people are rich, they will pay more money in taxes and this money could be invested for the welfare of the general public through improved education, infrastructure, health etc.”
Speaking to businessmen from Malaysia and Pakistan, the Malaysian premier remarked that he had invited investors to Malaysia while training local workers in new skills. As investment money poured in, we were able to set up our own industries with the help of technology, he added.
He also said that peace and stability were pivotal to economic progress of any country because without peace, no one will come to invest.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also spoke on the occasion and lauded Mahathir’s policies and steps to put the Malaysian economy on the road to progress and development.
The Malaysian premier was accompanied by 25 heads of top Malaysian companies who signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for investments worth $800-$900 million with their Pakistani counterparts in sectors such as IT, telecom, power generation, textile, agriculture and food.
Moreover, three MoUs were signed between Malaysia’s Edotco Towers and Pakistan’s telecommunication companies including Jazz, Telenor and Zong.
Pakistan International Airlines Chief Executive Officer Arshad Malik also met with Mahathir Mohamad and exchanged views on extending flight operations between the two countries.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said that one of the advantages of having trade and investment ties with Malaysia is to secure access in to East Asian markets since Kuala Lumpur has made significant inroads in to Association of South East Asian Nations’ (Asean) countries.
Dawood explained that Malaysian investors were long-term players and would like to see a good market share for their goods in the region.
Malaysia offers an opportunity for Islamabad in to the Asean market for trade and investment through strategic partnerships. Asean is home to around 651m people, with an estimated GDP of $3 trillion and high human development index.
Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2019