KUALA LUMPUR– The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is confident that the upcoming Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit will further boost foreign direct investments (FDIs) from the European country into Malaysia.

Chief Executive Officer, Azman Mahmud said, as of September 2017, the agency had approved 126 Swedish manufacturing projects worth RM2.7 billion.

“Sweden has been an important source of foreign investments for Malaysia, as notable Swedish companies such as Volvo, Scania and bearing and seal manufacturer, SKF, have been here for many decades.

“The summit will definitely help increase Swedish FDI into Malaysia,” he told a media briefing on the summit here.

The second Sweden-Southeast Asia Business Summit would be held here from Feb 6-7. The pioneer event took place in Singapore in September 2016.

The event is being organised by the Swedish Embassy, Business Sweden and Malaysian Swedish Business Association, supported by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, MIDA and InvestKL.

It aims to provide a platform for Swedish, Malaysian and other Southeast Asian business communities to gain insights from industry peers, policy experts and connect with potential partners.

Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia, Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt said the summit would focus on areas such as digitalisation, Industry 4.0 and the sustainability and efficiency of the transport system.

“We will also be touching on sustainable solutions within economic growth, environmental responsibility, solutions for future cities and smart transport during the panel discussion sessions,” he added.

Juhlin-Dannfelt said the Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Mikael Damberg is expected to lead a delegation comprising 60 Swedish companies to the event, adding, Khazanah Nasional Bhd Managing Director, Azman Mokhtar and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd Chairman, Mohd Munir Abdul Majid are also expected to attend the event.

“Sweden views Southeast Asia as the fastest growing region in the world, and hope the event will help our companies establish long-term strategic partnerships with businesses in the region,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on the European Union (EU) Parliament’s vote to phase out the use of palm oil from 2021 onwards,Juhlin- Dannfelt reiterated that there was no ban and no discrimination against the commodity at the national and EU levels.

“It was the EU Parliament’s proposal to phase out palm-oil based biofuels from 2021.Sweden and most EU countries are strongly opposed to any discriminatory measures taken against palm oil,” he added.