7/26/2010 — Arab News
With the recent five-day visit to Malaysia of a Saudi business delegation headed by Prince Abdul Aziz Faisal Al-Saud, investment ties between the two countries are likely to get a boost, according to Malaysian Ambassador Dato Said Omar Al Saggaf.
“I am very happy to note that there are many business opportunities in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) in Malaysia that Saudi investors can participate in,” Al-Saggaf quoted Prince Abdul Aziz as telling Bernama, the Malaysian News Agency, during the visit last week.
Al Saggaf said the Saudi delegation was reciprocating a visit to the Kingdom in May of an ECER investment delegation led by National Corridor Development Adviser Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The delegation sought investors in the oil and gas industry, particularly in the downstream industry.
ECER — strategically located in the east coast of Malaysia and poised to become a dynamic region by offering various opportunities to manufacturers and investors — covers the states of Kelantan, Trengganu, Pahang, and the district of Mersing in Johoradawi.
“The visit was significant, indicating another positive development to further consolidate the bilateral cooperation between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia,” Al Saggaf said.
Quoting Prince Abdul Aziz, the Malaysian envoy expressed his firm belief that Saudi interest to invest in ECER will be realized soon, based on ongoing discussions with potential investors from the Kingdom.
In a statement, ECER Development Council Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John said that firm commitments from the Saudi side were expected by the end of 2010.
Late last year, the Malaysian government and Saudi Arabia’s Petro Saudi International also set up a fund to invest in Malaysia and other countries with Malaysia selling $1 billion in bonds to finance its share of the deal.
Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that Petro investments of $1.5 billion had already arrived in Malaysia.
Al Saggaf said that tax incentives in various sectors await Saudi investors in Malaysia.
“In tourism, offered are customized incentives based on merit, income tax exemption of 100 percent for five years for eco-tourism and investment tax allowance (ITA) of 100 percent on qualifying capital expenditure for five years,” he said.
He added that other incentives offered include stamp duty exemption on land acquired for development and withholding tax exemption on royalty and technical fees for 10 years; and import duty and sales tax exemption on machinery, equipment and consumables that are not produced locally and used directly in the activity.
“Incentives are also offered to Saudi companies developing infrastructure in an industrial park,” the envoy said.
These include income 100-percent tax exemption for ten years starting from the year the company derives statutory income, investment tax allowance (ITA) of 100 percent on qualifying capital expenditure for five years and stamp duty exemption on instruments of acquisition or leasing of property relating to industrial park.
He added that companies undertaking promoted activities in the are also entitled to customized incentives based on merit, income tax exemption of 100 percent for eight years starting from the year the company derives statutory income and investment tax allowance (ITA) of 100 percent on qualifying capital expenditure for five years.
Al Saggaf added that incentives were also offered in the areas of manufacturing, petrochemical, special economic zone (SEZ), agriculture, education, and culture and heritage.
Kingdom, Malaysia to boost investment
7/26/2010 — Arab News