by BERNAMA / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE historical high realised foreign direct investment (FDI) recorded in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19) was made up of high-quality investments, political secretary to the finance minister Tony Pua (picture) said.
He said this will help upgrade local skills and technologies through the sharing of expertise in various high value-added areas and importantly, ensure that Malaysia escapes from the middle-income trap, a goal that it is striving for.
International investors’ interest in Malaysia has increased since Pakatan Harapan took over the reins of government one-year ago, he said in a statement yesterday.
Pua was commenting on the aspersion cast by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak on the FDI statistics posted on his (Pua’s) Facebook.
“The amount of FDI approved in 2018 was the best achievement thus far, which will help increase the realised FDI this year and next year.
“Hence, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is correct to state that the country achieved the historical high realised FDI in a quarter in 1Q19, an increase of 94.8% to RM21.7 billion from RM11.2 billion in 1Q18,” Pua said.
He said the purchase of IHH Healthcare Bhd shares on Bursa Malaysia by Mitsui & Co Ltd from Khazanah Nasional Bhd was a significant move as it demonstrated the confidence and trust placed by foreign investors on Malaysian companies and its economy.
He also recalled that during Najib’s premiership in 2017, Petroliam Nasional Bhd sold 50% of its stake in the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project in Pengerang to Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco at US$7 billion (RM29.4 billion).
“In fact, the FDI interpretation used currently and before has not changed, and it is an international interpretation described in the International Monetary Fund’s balance of payments and international investment position manual,” he said. — Bernama