by Dato’ Dr Mahani Zainal Abidin, Chief Executive, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia
Penang Monthly attended this forum, organized by investPenang, where Dato’ Dr Mahani gave an overview to around 100 corporate executives and university students, on the current competitive landscape for foreign direct investment (FDI) and Malaysia and Penang’s standing in the region.
Dato’ Dr Mahani began with an overview on the global economic environment, highlighting how Asia, led by China remains a bright spark in this environment of a weak Europe and USA. She also went on to explain the situation in Malaysia compared with its competitors for FDI, the likes of Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Korea. She not only gave a structural perspective but also a historical one, commenting on how the FDI gap between Malaysia and its neighbours is narrowing.
The talk was followed by a lively Q&A session where recruiters, researches and management from MNCs brought up and debated various topics ranging from the standard of our university level education, employer expectations of graduates, how Penang and Malaysia can position themselves structurally for the future, the question of meritocracy in the country and about the possibility of Penang’s free port status.
The event was sponsored by TM and hosted at Traders Hotel, Penang, on May 16th 2012.