「現代鄭和」下西洋——馬來西亞投資篇

:::

1989 / 2月

文‧蕭容慧 圖‧王煒昶


在國人趕搭「東南亞投資」的列車中,馬來西亞雖不是第一志願,但最近它加足馬力,往前衝刺,讓投資者不得不多看它一眼……。

若是「相」中者有心前往投資,更需對當地的種族、文化差異和生活方式等多加注意。


今年是中華民國國貿局的「對東南亞貿易擴展行動年」。

不單是我國經貿單位摩拳擦掌,東南亞的泰、馬、菲、印尼四國也以各種行動相應合,而馬來西亞可說是一匹來勢洶洶的黑馬。

五、六年前,美國商業週刊曾預測馬來西亞是亞洲的第五隻小老虎。曾幾何時,眼看著泰國後來居上,就要奪走這個寶座了。馬國開始加緊腳步——追!

吸取「台灣經驗」

實行已久的「東望政策」,讓大馬政府覺悟:西方尖端科技對開發中國家不見得合適;而與日本合作,技術難學;韓國大企業型態也不合「體質」……。於是,「台灣經驗」成了寶典,吸收中華民國廠家的投資也成為要務。

馬國的動作快、態度積極,令其他開發中國家又嫉又羨。你可以看到——

動作一:以馬來人為主幹的馬國政府官員,開始學華語,在全球華語熱軋上一角。

動作二:官方文件和資料增印另一種版本——華文版。這是以前沒有的現象。

動作三:去年底,馬來西亞總理馬哈地指派陳德泉赴中華民國,擔任駐台首任副代表,使其規模原已是東南亞各國駐華機構之首的中心,更添生力軍。

動作四:馬來西亞曾在台舉行多場投資說明會,場場客滿。

主動出擊

動作五:中馬兩國洽詢多時的雙邊投資暨保證協定即將獲具體結果。國人在馬國投資的「政治保障」一旦加強後,一九八九年台灣在馬投資金額預估可達十億美金。

而這只是其中幾項而已。這些動作,都可以看得出馬國的「心意」。如果說對外投資像結婚,除了郎有心,還得妹有意才行。

客觀看來,馬來西亞絕對有它吸引人的條件,其中資源富饒,最令投資者心動。

如果稱馬來西亞是「天府之國」,一點都不誇張。上帝創世紀之初,把許多資源慷慨地給了它,錫、棕油、橡膠和胡椒的產量為世界第一。

比起其他東南亞國家,馬來西亞對工業所需的公共設施投資甚鉅,發展亦最佳。在經濟部投資業務處印行的投資須知堸O載著:「馬國的通訊設施曾被世界銀行評為『A』級。交通網路相當完善,政府優先維護和改善國家空運、鐵路、道路和港口等設施。對於輸出導向工業,自由貿易區和已登記的製造倉庫(保稅工廠)享有相當好的設施,關稅手續和干擾也最少。」

曾任馬國遠東貿易旅遊中心主任的孔令晟指出,馬來西亞的行政效率在東南亞國家中,僅次於新加坡。

「由於曾受英國統治,司法制度健全,對外人投資都有法律保護」,經濟部投資業務處促進組組長吳鴻祺分析。

天府之國

由於教育程度較高,馬國工人的素質也是東南亞各國之冠;華人多、華文教育盛行,語言溝通不成問題,使國人到馬國有「他鄉遇故知」之感。加上到台灣就學的僑生數目也多,返馬之後,不少都成為台灣投資者的得意助手。

我國在馬投資,而這些誘因所發揮莫大的磁力,年有增加。

早在一九五九年,我國就在馬來西亞設水泥廠,這也是我國首件正式申請的對外投資案。

馬來西亞貿易及工業部長拉菲達亞茲表示,我國廠商自一九七○年起大量赴馬投資,初期以小型工業較多,主要投資行業是食品加工、塑膠、電器等;八○年以後集中在紡織、加工業,一九八七年在馬國投資金額,次於日本、新加坡。

根據馬國官方統計,截至一九八八年十一月,台灣業者獲准通過的馬國投資案件已有九十六件,數目之多,居外人投資的第二名,僅次於日本。

但話說回來,對馬來西亞,投資者也有不少的「心事」。

「馬來西亞友誼及貿易中心」投資部主任周邦銓指出,台灣廠商擔心的不外乎馬國社會的「排華」和土地政策。而這正是雙方在「締結良緣」前,頗大的阻礙。

種族問題在馬來西亞由來已久,它和政治、宗教因素混合之後,形成複雜的局面。

排華引起爭議?

馬來西亞由三個種族組成,馬來人佔百分之五十六,華裔佔百分之三十三,其他則是印度人。馬國的軍警政大權操縱在馬人手中,大多數華人則掌握經濟權。馬來人與華人長期以來一直處於「王對王」的狀態。

一九八七年底,馬來西亞總理引用內部安全法,在卅七小時內收押六十九人,其中包括許多華人政客和學者。此外,馬哈地下令三家報紙停刊,並禁止集會,頓時全國風聲鶴唳、人心惶惶。

雖然政府聲稱這是「政黨」問題,而非「種族」糾紛,但看在華人眼堙A卻不怎麼是滋味。

其次,「新經濟政策」的施行,也是華人糾纏難解的心結。

一九七○年施行的新經濟政策,主要是透過法令,強制執行,使馬來土著,能爭取到更多的財富,同時保證土著在就業機會上的均等。

從報紙的售屋廣告上,即看出端倪,例如同樣的房子,馬來人可以較低的售價買到,待遇確是不同。

這些,都是造成「排華」印象的點點滴滴。華人也因此認為政府處處保護馬來人,慢慢失去歸屬感,近年來向外移民的增加和資金的外流,都是事實。

而馬國的土地政策,也頗令投資者「感冒」。

有土斯有財?

對華人而言,土地是一項最重要的財富,也是立業的基礎。

馬國的土地都歸各州政府所有,連馬來公民也不能擁有,遑論華人。

只有少數的保留地歸馬來人永久持有,並可買賣。我國廠商若不明察秋毫,很可能買到這種土地而引起糾紛。

YOMATES手套公司董事長連哲原在設廠時,沒事先對土地產權徵信,誤信當地中介者,而連吃兩次虧,繳了約七萬美金的買廠房學費,最後乾脆用租的。他搖搖頭嘆道:「省了請律師和會計師的小錢,卻虧了大錢。」

除此之外,我國來此投資者的疑難雜症還包括:馬國對核准我國商人入境或居留,工作簽證很嚴格;另方面,馬國國內市場不很大,製造品的出口也缺乏國際競爭力,所以投資只限於國內市場,發展較小。

但俗語說,風水輪流轉,天下最永恆的事就是「變化」,大馬的環境也在變化中。

新經濟政策雷厲風行施行後,經濟並沒有成長,一九八五年中又逢國際大宗物資價格下跌,馬國陷入窘境。

一九八六年是馬國經濟衰退最嚴重的一年,經濟成長率降低,失業率則驟升。

窮則變、變則通

馬哈地認為天然資源的價格是由市場決定,無法有效控制,不能過度依賴它,因此有心改弦易轍發展製造業,希望尋找天然資源和工業製品的平衡點。

他一方面放寬原來的各種限制;另方面增加獎勵措施,希望能吸引外資,和隨之而來的技術。

例如,過去外資公司只能擁有百分之卅的股權,新法放寬為凡是在一九八六年到一九九○年,以出口為導向、主要雇用馬來人,投資新科技的外資公司,可擁有百分之百的股權。

租稅減免——可算是馬國獎勵對外國投資者的「大紅包」。

舉例來說,享有新興工業地位的公司免繳公司稅,它可省下百分之四十的公司所得稅、百分之五的發展稅和百分之二的營業稅。

此外,馬來西亞目前有九個「自由貿易區」,性質類似我國的加工出口區。

其設置目的是希望能促進出口性工業的成長。凡是經過核准直接用於生產用途的機器設備、原料,進入自由貿易區,都可不必支付關稅、消費稅或銷售稅;凡是產品全部外銷或經工商部核准確認百分之八十以上外銷的工廠都可以申請。

並且,設在此區的工廠,都享有以最簡化的海關手續,及辦理進口業務的方便。

卯足全力吸引外資

而在一九七八年設立的馬來西亞工業發展局,也被指派來協助外國投資者,是個專門「牽紅線」的機構。

一般說來,外國投資人在馬來西亞可採行三種方式:設立子公司、向馬國現有公司買股份及設立分公司。這些方法必須在營業前分別向有關機關辦理登記,是大部分國內投資者最先碰到的「衙門」。

「他們對台灣的投資者很禮遇」,一位業者指出,辦理登記不需多久就有回音。

馬來西亞中華工商聯合會副總秘書暨工業與人力發展組主任宋兆雄表示,許多事情以「眼見為信」比較可靠,而馬國投資環境是否已經改善了?他歡迎國人親自前往考察、求證。

周邦銓分析,雖然馬國政府在新經濟政策中保障馬來人,但在憲法中也保障華人。「從華人掌握了全國百分之五十以上的經濟財富,就可以證明」,他強調,中華民國廠商若到馬國投資,將視為外國投資,因此不必擔心會受到限制。何況,現在政府確實已做了許多修正。

合則來!

如果已消除了心理障礙,什麼樣的行業適合與馬國結「親家」呢?

「它有豐富的木材資源,很適合國內的紙業、木材業及傢具業前往投資」,美國賓州州立大學經濟學博士陳添枝指出。

此外,馬國公告鼓勵外人的投資產業和技術還包括:農業生產、農產品加工、橡膠產品、生產棕油及棕仁油產品、化學品、紡織品、鋼鐵、機械、汽車零組件、電子、鞋類……等。

而「外人勿近」的種植業和金屬礦業,則是馬國政府不鼓勵外人投資的項目;對於急著找出路的紡織業者,馬國只獎勵技術層次較高的產品,如室內裝潢用的特種織布等。

在用人方面,馬來西亞是回教國家。每天有膜拜的習慣,這時工廠就得暫時停工。許多台灣來的廠家入境隨俗,在廠內設置小教堂,算是對員工的一種體貼。但有的業者卻覺得很困擾,這畢竟還是會打斷工作情緒和降低效率——這也是國人欲前往投資應有的認識。

目前,馬國的勞動人口約六百萬,素質較低的非技術工人薪資是每小時二元馬幣(不到一美元),他們大部分來自鄉村,有供過於求的現象;然而,每小時三至三點五馬幣(約一點五美元)工資的技術工人,就十分缺乏。

東南亞地區四國條件雖不同,但週邊工業的不足卻是共有的缺點,馬國也不例外,投資者不可不注意。

減低風險有妙方

審慎研析投資國家的人文、社會、經濟、政策、法律等各項因素,是投資者最重要的課前作業。當然,慎選合作夥伴、擬定周詳計畫,更是過來人苦口婆心的勸告之詞。

隨著中馬經貿關係的加強,投資人可得到的資訊、協助越來越多,「看走眼」的機會就越來越小。如何運用這些助力,也成為廠家比高下的競技項目之一了。

〔圖片說明〕

P.18

(左)馬來西亞的交通網路相當完善,是投資者的有利條件之一。圖為吉隆坡火車站一角。

P.18

(右)西馬來西亞羅浮交怡島上(Langkawi)的華人商店。右上角法國酒MARTELL的廣告,翻譯作「媽爹」,十分有趣。

P.20

到馬國投資要特別注意土地問題,台灣去的商人連哲原(圖中立者)曾吃了不少虧。

P.21

中午休息時間,馬來人、印度人、華人等各「色」人種步出工廠大門。

P.22

在吉隆坡,常可見到與中華文化相關的景觀。

P.23

台灣投資者設於吉隆坡的鋼鐵廠。

P.24

(左)「相」中馬國投資環境者,須對當地的種族,文化差異及生活方式多加注意。

P.24

(右)馬國原始風味十足,投資者可享受不同風味的休閒生活。

P.24

馬來西亞小檔案

●面積:卅三萬平方公里(包括馬來半島、婆羅洲島的沙巴、砂勞越州)。

●人口:一千六百萬

●原為英殖民地,一九五七年獨立在君主立憲下,行國會民主政治,由九個州的世襲蘇丹王,每五年輪流當國王,實際領導者為總理,一九八一年馬哈地接任至今。

●執政黨「國民陣線」,由十一個主要政黨組成,包括UMNO、馬華公會、印度國大黨等,反對黨以人民行動黨、回教黨、民政黨為主。

●外交採不結盟政策,不參加也不牽涉東西集團的紛爭,是東南亞國協會員國之一。對內反共,對外與回教國友好,也積極與各國建立關係。

●貨幣:馬幣以零吉(Ringgit)為單元,其對外匯率採浮動匯率制,中央銀行很少直接干預。目前匯率是一美元兌換二點六馬幣。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

Investing in Malaysia

Sunny Hsiao /photos courtesy of Wei C. Wang /tr. by Phil Newell

In the rush to invest in Southeast Asia, though Malaysia is not the leading choice, its recent efforts to join in the fray are certain to be noticed by investors.


1989 has been declared "Action Year for the Development of Trade with Southeast Asia" by the Board of International Trade. And Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia are employing all types of measures to complement those of the ROC Malaysia could be said to be the dark horse.

Five or six years ago, Malaysia was identified by Business Week magazine as the fifth "Little Dragon." Thailand has since grabbed that distinction, but Malaysia is recharging. With its "Look East" policy, Malaysia understood that Western cuttingedge technology was not appropriate for developing nations. The same for Japan. And Malaysia's "constitution" is not right for Korean-style conglomerates. So the "Taiwan experience" has become the model, and attracting ROC investment an important goal.

Malaysia's positive steps include: (1) The widespread study of Chinese in the largely Malay government; (2) The unprecedented issuance of Chinese-language editions of government documents and data; (3) At the end of last year, Prime Minister Mahathir dispatched Chen Teck Chang as vice-representative, strengthening what is already the largest-scale representation in the ROC of any Southeast Asian country (Chen is to focus on economic relations); (4) Malaysia has held many well-attended investment seminars in Taiwan; (5) Sino-Malaysian investment talks have yielded concrete results (once political guarantees are strengthened, it is estimated that investment by Taiwan in Malaysia could reach M$10 billion).

Malaysia indeed has its attractive conditions, especially abundant natural resources. It is the world's leading producer of tin, palm oil, rubber, and pepper.

Further, its industrial infrastructure may be the finest in Southeast Asia. An investment fact book issued by the ROC Ministry of Economic Affairs includes the following: "Malaysia's communications are rated A by the World Bank. Its transportation network is comprehensive. Free trade zones and registered manufactures warehouses have quite good facilities and minimum interference in the customs tax procedure."

Further, Malaysia's administrative efficiency is second in Southeast Asia only to Singapore, according to former head of the Far East Trade and Travel Center in Malaysia, Kung Ling-sheng.

Because education levels are high, so is worker quality. Also, there are many Chinese there, and Chinese language education is widespread, making it home away from home for ROC investors.

All these factors have spelled increasing investment. Large scale ROC investment began in 1970, mostly in small-scale industry (food processing, plastics), moving to textiles and processing in the 80's. By the end of November, 1988, according to Malaysian government statistics, 96 projects have been approved, second only to Japan. The total amount for 1987 was third only to Japan and Singapore.

The leading problem for investors, points out Chew Bang Chyuan, director of the In vestment Department at the Malaysian Friend ship and Trade Center, is fear of ROC investors of anti-Chinese sentiment in Malaysia. Malaysia's population is 56% Malay, 33% Chinese, and 11% Indian. A state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Mahathir at the end of 1987 is unsettling in Chinese eyes. Further, the "New Economic Policy," begun in 1970 with the idea of putting more national wealth in the hands of Malays by 1990, with guarantees of employment, is hard for Chinese to accept.

Malaysian land policy can also put off investors. All land is owned by the states (Malaysia has a federal system) and cannot be privately owned. Some is reserved only for Malays, and incautious investors can get in trouble buying where they are not supposed to.

Other problems include strict regulations for visas and work permits for ROC business people. Also, the domestic market is small, but exports are not up to world standards.

But things are changing. The New Economic Policy has not flourished. Further, in 1985 Malaysia was a victim of a collapse in international commodity prices. GNP shrank severely in 1986.

Believing that Malaysia needs to escape dependence on volatile commodity markets, Mahathir's government has cleared obstacles and created incentives for foreign investment in manufacturing. Foreign investors could previously own only 30% of a company's stock; for the period 1986-90 those meeting given conditions (e.g., production for export, employment of ethnic Malays, new technology) can own 100%. There are also tax incentives, for example avoidance of corporate taxes for "pioneer status" industries. Malaysia also has nine "free trade zones," similar to Taiwan's export processing zones, with simplified customs procedures and tax incentives to promote exports. The Malaysia Industrial Development Authority assists foreign investors.

There are three ways to invest: setting up an affiliate, buying into a Malaysian company, or setting up a branch company. Investors must register with the appropriate agencies; responses are usually quite rapid.

Although the NEP favors Malays, the Malaysian constitution protects Chinese. The fact that Chinese control over 50% of the economy shows that success is possible. Besides, ROC investors are treated as "foreign" rather than "Chinese."

With Malaysia's extensive forests, opportunities are good for investment by the paper, lumber, and furniture industries. The government is recruiting investment in agriculture, food processing, rubber products, palm oil, chemicals, steel, machinery, electronics, and shoes, among others; but foreigners are excluded from plantations and mining, and welcome in textiles only for relatively high-tech products.

Malaysia's workforce numbers six million. The supply of unskilled labor, with wages of about M$2.00 per hour, exceeds demand, but that of skilled labor (M$3-3.50) is lacking. Malaysia is a Moslem country, and work is interrupted daily for prayers.

The investment climate differs in all four Southeast Asian nations, but all are inadequate in peripheral industries. Malaysia is no exception, and investors must take note. Of course, choosing a good partner is another matter for extreme care.

With the improvement of ROC-Malaysian economic relations, more help and information is available for investors. As for what the business community does with this, the ball is now in their court.

Malaysia: Basic Facts

*Area: 330,000 k㎡ (including the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Shaba, and Sarawak).

*Population: 16 million.

*Former British colony; Independence 1957; Constitutional parliamentary democracy; Official ruler rotates among the nine sultans (one for each state) every five years; Functional leader is Prime Minister (Mahathir since 1981).

*Ruling Party: "Popular Front" of 11 parties, including United Malay Nationalist Organization and the Malaysian Chinese Association; Opposition includes People's Action Party, Party of Islam.

*Non-aligned (not a member of East or West bloc); Member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations); Domestically anticommunist; Friendly to Islamic nations; Active foreign relations.

*Currency: Ringgit; Floating exchange rate; Little central bank intervention; Current rate: US$1=M$2.6.

[Picture Caption]

(Left) Malaysia's transportation network is in good shape, one of its attractions for the investor. Shown is a corner of the train station in Kuala Lumpur.

(Right) A Chinese shop on the island o Langkawi to the west of Malaysia.

Investors have to pay special attention to the land issue in Malaysia. T aiwan businessman Lien Che-yuan (center) learned his lesson the hard way--with heavy losses.

During the noon break at a factory, a panoply of human colors appears wi th Malays, Indans, and Chinese.
One can often see sights with a Chinese cultural motif in Kuala Lumpur.
A steel mill set up in Kuala Lumpur by Chinese investors.

(Left) Those in terested in the investment climate must pay special attention to local racial, cultural, and lifestyle factors.

(Right) There is much of the unspolied in Malaysia: Investors can enjoy a different leisure lifestyle.

 

X 使用【台灣光華雜誌】APP!
更快速更方便!