WASHINGTON, DC (May 12): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Wednesday (Thursday, May 12 in Malaysia) rolled out the red carpet for American investors and businessmen, and presented Malaysia as a preferred investment destination.
He welcomed them, especially the Fortune 500 companies, to invest or increase their investment, namely in economic digital, green technology and electric car sectors.
"I've suggested to Tesla to invest in Malaysia in producing electric cars," he told Malaysian journalists after meeting Ambassador Ted Osius, president and chief executive officer of the United States (US)-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) at a hotel here.
Set up in 1984, the US-ABC represents 170 major American businesses in Southeast Asia.
The prime minister, who arrived here on the previous day, is on a four-day working visit to the US, during which he would meet with President Joe Biden and ASEAN leaders.
Ismail Sabri said he has asked the US-ABC to play a bigger role in attracting investment to ASEAN, especially Malaysia.
Malaysia seen as important trading partner, Penang to host WCIT
"They regard Malaysia as an important trading partner of the United States," the prime minister said of the US-ABC reaction.
Later, Ismail Sabri has a separate session with World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) secretary-general Dr James H. Poisant at the same venue.
The prime minister said WITSA would hold the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), the world's largest IT conference in Penang in September.
"I hope this congress will benefit Malaysians in terms of technology," he said, adding that participants from all over the world, including speakers from America's space agency, would converge at the congress.
In another meeting at the same venue, the Malaysian premier met Dr Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, as well as East-West Center vice-president Dr P. Limaye.
The prime minister also held a separate discussion with Dr Kurt M. Campbell, deputy assistant to the US President and coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs in the National Security Council.
Ismail Sabri told Dr Campbell that all ASEAN member countries should be involved with the US-led initiative Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
At the moment, some countries from the grouping are not in the picture for the major trade and economic initiative for the Indo-Pacific region.
"Malaysia is of the view that all ASEAN countries should be involved," he said, adding that Kuala Lumpur has agreed in principle to join the IPEF.