KUALA LUMPUR - Beverage company Coca-Cola Co on Tuesday said it would invest 1 billion ringgit ($301.4 million) over the next five years to set up a bottling plant in Malaysia, a move that could help the Southeast Asian country offset recent large investment outflows.
Malaysia recorded a net outflow of direct investment of 24.9 billion ringgit in 2009 after an outflow of 26.1 billion ringgit in 2008 as it lagged reforming regional peers like Indonesia in its bid to win foreign investment and as Malaysian companies invested overseas.
The new investment will directly create 600-800 new jobs at the bottling plant, and is expected to create between 6000 and 8000 jobs with local suppliers, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
Malaysia's government started to liberalise its economy to attract more investment when Prime Minister Najib Razak took office in April last year.
However, some reforms to tackle the budget deficit have been rolled back and the government said at the weekend that it had abandoned plans to introduce a goods and services tax, following its failure to implement unpopular petrol price hikes aimed at cutting its subsidy bill.
(Reporting by Royce Cheah; Editing by David Chance)