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US set to overtake China as Malaysia’s top investor

The US is set to supplant China as Malaysia’s top source of investment, amid an increasingly bitter trade war between the two superpowers that has reconfigured global supply chains, especially in developing Southeast Asia.

Malaysia has lost out to its regional peers in capturing investment fleeing from tariff-hit China, but US companies have dived deep here, more than tripling last year’s manufacturing investments in the first quarter of this year alone.

Chinese firms may have been dissuaded by soured relations with Beijing after the Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad won the May 2018 election and followed through with its pledge to review a raft of Chinese projects.

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