Malaysia wants to increase incentives for local production

Malaysia will increase the value of its location-based incentives to 35% from the current 30%, the government is expected to announce in Cannes this week.

The Film in Malaysia Incentive (FIMI) was established in 2013, around the time Iskandar Malaysia studios opened in the south of the country, and is managed by the National Film Development Corp. (FINAS) managed.

FINAS and Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa will lead a Malaysian delegation to the Cannes market and are expected to provide details of the FIMI update at a Malaysia-focused conference on May 19.

“FINAS intends to use the Marché film market as a platform to promote Malaysia as an international filming destination offering 30% cash rebate through FIMI and up to 5% [additional] through a culture test,” said FINAS Managing Director Nasir Ibrahim in a briefing before the departure of the state news agency Bernama. Details of the cultural test may be outlined at the Cannes presentation.

“This year, we are targeting RM50 million (US$11.4 million) of foreign investment in Malaysia through FIMI,” Nasir said.

Around 90 FIMI projects have been handled by FINAS since its inception, including 54 international projects and 36 local projects, Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Zahidi Zainul Abidin clarified at the ConnectASIA 2022-Filming In Malaysia and International Marketing Forum last month .

International film and television projects funded through the FIMI program include two seasons of the Netflix series Marco Polo, reality TV show Asia’s Got Talent and hit film Crazy Rich Asians.

There is stiff competition for runaway productions among Asia-Pacific territories, with Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Mongolia all offering discount schemes. The damage to the manufacturing industry from COVID restrictions has added urgency to the need to make incentives competitive.

Malaysia announced last month that FIMI has helped create 10,000 jobs in the sector. It explained how that number came about. Malaysia wants to increase incentives for local production

Charles Jones

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