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TJ: Pelabur US kecewa dengan AFTA
By Kapal Berita
22/10/2000 9:33 pm Sun
Terjemah Ringkas Sahaja:
PELABUR US KECEWA DENGAN AFTA
Para pelabur asing sudah semakin menyintai Cina dan India sekarang ini.
ASEAN sewajarnya membuka ruang kepada pelabur luar untuk mengelakkan dari terpinggir.
Pelabur yang mewakili 25 syarikat Amerika berkata demikian semasa
mesyuarat menteri Asean di sini sebagai komen balas kepada sikap
Malaysia yang melindungi industri otomotifnya.
Ken Richeson, pengarah eksekutif US-ASEAN Business Council berkata
foreign direct investment (FDI) ke CIna tahun lepas berjumlah US 40 billion,
atau 42% dari jumlah modal mengalir ke Asia.
Sebagai perbandingan, FDI ke ASEAN cuma $16 billion, atau hanya 17% dari jumlah
"Ini adalah tahap yang pelaburan paling RENDAH di ASEAN sejak awal 1990an
dan paling KECIL sebagai peratus keseluruhan pelaburan masuk ke ASEAN sejak
1980an." ujar beliau lagi.
"Pada awal 1990an, ASEAN merupakan 61% daripada jumlah pelaburan tersebut,
dan Cina cuma 18%." tambah Richeson lagi.
Sementara intu ketua Ford ASEAN, Kania, mengatakan India juga berminat
dan mengambil pelbagai langkah untuk menarik pelabur.
"Pelaburan oleh Ford, General Motors dan Daimler-Chrysler di ASEAN
akan tertangguh dengan sikap Malaysia yang melambatkan potongan
tarif" kata Kania.
Menurut Kania lagi, pembuat otomobil US merasa "kecewa" dengan Malaysia tetapi
faham masalah mereka.
Ketiga-tida syarikat gergasi US itu telah melabur sejumlah $1.6 billion
ke ASEAN, diikuti engan $1 billion oleh pembekal mereka masing2.
-TJ Man Kubur-
ASEAN Must Promote Free Trade to Increase Investment: US Businessmen
China and India are fast becoming the darlings of foreign investors and ASEAN must
promote free trade to avoid being pushed aside, top US businessmen said yesterday.
The executives, representing 25 American firms with investments in the region, told
Southeast Asian economic ministers at a forum here Malaysia's move to shield its
automotive industry was a backward step in efforts to liberalize the key sector.
Malaysia's action to delay tariff cuts on its automotive sector from 2003 to 2005 has
cast a shadow over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in
ASEAN ministers were expected to approve later yesterday a protocol on how to
deal with disputes arising when countries wanted to delay their tariff reduction
commitments under the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).
"Implementation of AFTA is central to this region's ability to attract large-scale capital
inflows," said Gerald Kania, president of ASEAN operations for Ford.
"By itself, no ASEAN country has the market size and economies of scale to justify
major manufacturing investments," he said.
"Only by looking at ASEAN as a region - with ten countries and 500 million people -
does large-scale, high-value added investment make economic sense," he said in a
news conference on the sidelines of the meeting.
Commerce Minister Supachai Panitchpakdi said in a speech to the ministers yesterday
that ASEAN must move in step with globalization or risk being "left behind in the
new world architecture as well as becoming irrelevant within the new global
Ken Richeson, executive director of the US-ASEAN Business Council, said foreign
direct investment (FDI) to China last year totalled US$40 billion, or 42 percent of the
total capital flowing into Asia.
By contrast, FDI to ASEAN was $16 billion, or just 17 percent of the total.
This is the lowest level of investment in ASEAN since the early 1990s and the
smallest as a percentage of total Asian investment inflows since the 1980s, he said.
In the early 1990s, ASEAN accounted for 61 percent of total Asian investments,
with only 18 percent directed at China, according to Richeson.
The businessmen said there have been great strides to meet the AFTA objective to
liberalize trade in most goods by 2003.
However, more needed to be done "as you get down into specifics like automobiles,"
Normalized US-China trade ties and Beijing's future entry into the World Trade
Organization "will make China even more attractive as an investment target for
American companies, and European companies as well," Richeson added.
"We want AFTA to continue to make the progress toward regional economic
integration and take consecutive steps forward rather than one step back, which I
think has basically happened in the automobile sector," he said.
Ford's ASEAN chief Kania said in the news conference that India was also taking
steps to attract foreign investors.
Future investment plans by Ford, General Motors and Daimler-Chrysler in ASEAN
would be delayed by the deferring of tariff cuts by Malaysia, Kania said.
Key ASEAN automobile markets - Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines - have all
pledged to meet their commitments.
Kania said US auto-makers were "disappointed" with Malaysia but understood their
The three US car firms have invested a total $1.6 billion into ASEAN, with an additional $1 billion put in by their suppliers. - AFP