Malaysia to increase incentives for on-site production

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

Film in Incentive Malaysia (FIMI) was launched in 2013, around the time of the opening of Iskandar Malaysia Studios in the south of the country, and is operated by National Film Development Corp. (FINAS).

FINAS and Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Anwar Musa, will lead a Malaysian delegation to Cannes and are expected to reveal details of the FIM’s promotion at a Malaysia-focused conference on May 19.

FINAS intends to use Marché Film Market as a platform to promote Malaysia as an international filming destination offering 30% cashback discount through FIMI and up to 5% [additional] “Through a cultural test,” Nasir Ibrahim, chief executive of Vinas, told state news agency Bernama in a briefing before departure. Details of the cultural test can be clarified in the Cannes presentation.

“This year we are targeting 50 million Malaysian ringgit ($11.4 million) in foreign investments in Malaysia through FIMI,” Nasir said.

Since its inception, about 90 FIMI projects have been handled by FINAS, comprising 54 international projects and 36 domestic ones, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zhidi Zainal Abidin explained last month at ConnectASIA 2022-Filming in Malaysia and International Marketing Forum.

International film and television projects that have received funding through the FIMI scheme include two seasons of the Netflix series ‘Marco Polo’, the reality TV show ‘Asia’s Got Talent’ and the hit movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians’.

There is strong competition between the Asia Pacific regions for unbridled production, with Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Mongolia all offering discount plans. The damage to productive industries from COVID restrictions has given additional urgency to the need to make incentives competitive.

Malaysia said last month that FIMI had helped create 10,000 jobs in the sector. He explained how he got to that number.

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