There was a piece of news last week about how Vietnam has surged ahead of Malaysia in terms of attractiveness to foreign investors. This should come as a wake-up call for Malaysia to pull up its socks to woo back investors.
I am not at all surprised over how Vietnam has been able to play catch up. I’ve had business dealings with them some years back and I find Vietnamese to be very resilient and hardworking people. Vietnam is the only country to have defeated the French and Americans in wars.
But as an entrepreneur, Malaysia’s slipping popularity among foreign investors raises concerns. In this age of Industrial Revolution 4.0, we can no longer rely only on cheap labour as an edge. Investors are now looking at factors like availability of knowledge workers and IT infrastructure.
Malaysia cannot rest on its laurels. We need to think out of the box and make Malaysia even more attractive to FDI. This includes revamping our education system to make it more relevant to current and future needs as well as enhancing the competitiveness of our economy.