Wednesday, May 28, 2008

KL pledged fair treatment for Pakatan states, assembly told - The Star

May 28, 2008

THE federal government has pledged that it would not discriminate against the five states under the control of the Pakatan Rakyat in terms of foreign investments and incentives, according to a Selangor state executive councillor.

Selangor State Trade, Industry and Investment Committee chairman Teresa Kok said this was the answer given to her by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) to a question she had asked as the MP for Seputeh in the Dewan Rakyat on May 5 this year.

Teresa had asked if Miti would continue cooperating with the five Pakatan Rakyat states in foreign investments and if it would continue giving incentives to foreign investors who were investing in the five states.

“The ministry, in its answer to my question, said all incentives, whether existing or new ones, will be continually given to all states,” Teresa said.

“It also said the government would always ensure that the fruits of investments would be equally shared by all citizens,” Teresa said in her winding-up speech at the Selangor state assembly in Shah Alam on Monday.

She said that Miti had also said that foreign investment was an important factor which contributed to the country's development.

“The federal government has, therefore, pledged that it would not discriminate against any state governments. So the state governments in these five states are encouraged to continue with existing policies that are business-inclined,” she said.

Teresa also said Miti had advised the five state governments not to introduce or execute new policies at the state level that were not proactive investment-wise, or that were inconsistent with or opposed to the policies and rules executed at the federal level.

“This is said to be important in continuing the traditionally excellent performance of the federal government in attracting foreign investments,” she said.

Teresa also read out the increase in figures of investment capitals in the state from 2006 to 2007.

While 2006 recorded more than RM5.3bil of investments, the following year saw an increase to RM 11.1bil of investments.

“In 2006, 312 factory projects were approved by the government, while in 2007, there was an increase to 318 approved projects. And from January to March this year, 58 factory projects were approved in Selangor with an investment value worth more than RM1.7bil,” she said.

“From this figure, 18% is local investment while the rest are foreign,” Teresa said.

She said the state government had also formed SSIC Berhad that would function as a one-stop agency for foreign investors who invested in Selangor.

According to Teresa, the company will help investors obtain information and assist them in getting approvals from the respective agencies.

“When it comes to approval of applications, we will also speed up the process like the approval for application of building plans and others through the one-stop centre that has been established in every local authority,” she said.

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