Malaysia records RM64.8b approved investment in January-June 2020

Of the total investments, DDI accounted for 69.8% or RM45.3b, while FDI comprised the remaining RM19.5b

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by ARIF KARTONO

MALAYSIA’S total approved investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors stood at RM64.8 billion between January and June 2020 amid the multiple headwinds at the global front, said Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida).

It added that the investments in the first six months of this year (1H20) involved 1,725 projects that will provide 37,110 employment opportunities in the country.

Of the total investments approved, the domestic direct investments (DDI) accounted for 69.8% or RM45.3 billion, while foreign direct investments (FDI) comprised the remaining RM19.5 billion.

For the FDI, the top five sources of investment were Singapore (RM4.9 billion), Switzerland (RM2.8 billion), China (RM2.2 billion), the US (RM2.2 billion) and Thailand (RM1.8 billion).

Domestically, five states — Sabah, Selangor, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor — contributed the bulk of the total approved investments at RM47.1 billion or 72.6%.

“The manufacturing sector attracted the largest portion of approved investments for 1H20, contributing more than half at 55.1% or RM35.7 billion, followed by the services sector with investments of 44.2% or RM28.6 billion and the primary sector with approved investments of 0.7% or RM500 million,” Mida said in a statement yesterday.

Investments approved in the manufacturing sector were mainly petroleum products including petrochemicals (RM13.6 billion), machinery and equipment (RM5.2 billion), electrical and electronics (E&E) products (RM5 billion), food manufacturing (RM2.1 billion), scientific and measuring equipment (RM2 billion), transport equipment (RM1.8 billion), chemicals and chemical products (RM1.6 billion) and non-metallic minerals (RM1 billion).

Mida said these investments made up 90.2% of total approved investments in the sector.

Compared to the same period last year, Mida said the DDI for the manufacturing sector rose 79.8% to RM17.9 billion, while the value of approved FDI dropped by 33.7% to RM17.8 billion.

It added that the leading sources for FDI were Singapore, Switzerland, USA, China, Thailand, Republic of Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Germany.

“These ten countries jointly accounted for 97.7% of total FDI approved in the manufacturing sector for this period.

“Interestingly, 69.3% of the approved investments in the manufacturing sector were new greenfield projects, amounting to RM24.7 billion and represents a 53.5% increase in investments for new projects compared to last year,” it said.

For the services sector, it has recorded 1,316 approved projects, which are expected to create 10,114 job opportunities, with investments of RM28.6 billion.

“Majority of the main services subsectors showed a significant decline in approved investments except for support services and MSC-status projects,” Mida said.

Among the top contributors of the approved investments in the services sector were real estate (RM12.2 billion), utilities (RM9.4 billion), support services (RM2.4 billion), financial services (RM1.8 billion) and telecommunications (RM1.3 billion).

Mida said the approved investments in the support services industry rose 18.5% compared to 2019 due to the surge of projects in the integrated logistics services and green technology subsectors, which recorded 172.1% and 7% increase respectively.

Meanwhile, for the primary sector, which comprises mining, agriculture and commodities industries, it has attracted investments worth RM471 million.

“All approved investments in this sector for the period were from domestic sources.

“The mining subsector took the lead with approved investments of RM468.5 million in six projects, followed by the plantation and commodities subsector with investments of RM2.5 million,” it said.

International Trade and Industry Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said while foreign investments assume an essential role in the development of the country, greater emphasis is being put in place to drive domestic investments and turn more domestic companies into global players.

“We will continue to prioritise the acceleration of technology adoption in all segments of the economy by harnessing the potential of Industry 4.0 to boost Malaysia’s productivity and competitiveness.

“Ensuring business continuity and growth will be a priority with business activities resuming to normal levels, while the government, through the short-term National Economic Recovery Plan, will continue to enable our investors to implement their projects in Malaysia efficiently and effectively by easing bureaucratic processes, especially during this time,” he said.