2020’s approved investments fell to RM164b

A total of 4,599 projects are part of the figure, with the manufacturing sector topping the list followed by the services and primary sectors


THE number of approved investments in the country last year dropped to RM164 billion compared to RM211.4 billion worth of approved investment in 2019, due to the decline in global demands and movement restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 4,599 projects are part of the figure, with the manufacturing sector topping the list with RM91.3 billion in investments followed by the services sector at RM66.7 billion and the primary sector (RM6 billion).

Senior Minister (Economy Cluster) and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the investments are expected to create 114,673 new jobs in various sectors of the economy.

Domestic direct investment accounted for the bulk of the total approved investment with a contribution of 60.9% or RM99.8 billion, while foreign direct investments (FDI) constituted 39.1% of the total or RM64.2 billion.

The top three FDI sources came from China, which contributed RM18.1 billion, followed by Singapore and the Netherlands at RM10 billion and RM7 billion respectively.

Selangor took the lead with RM38.7 billion in approved investments last year followed by Sabah (RM21 billion), Sarawak (RM19.6 billion), Kuala Lumpur (RM17.1 billion) and Penang (RM16 billion).

The manufacturing sector recorded an increase of 10.3% in total investments compared to 2019, while the number of manufacturing projects approved rose 6.2% from 988 projects in 2019 to 1,049 projects in 2020.

“Against the backdrop of the challenges due to the pandemic, new project investments, accounting for 66.9% of the total manufacturing projects approved, were successfully secured in 2020,” Azmin said in a statement yesterday.

He said for the period between 2016 and 2020, a total of 4,178 projects were approved, 70% of which, worth RM197.2 billion, have been implemented.

The approved manufacturing projects last year are expected to create new jobs for more than 80,000 people.

FDI accounted for RM56.6 billion or 62% of total approved investments in the sector, while domestic investments accounted for the remaining 38% or RM34.7 billion.

China was the top investor in the sector contributing RM17.8 billion of the total foreign investments approved.

Other major sources of FDI include Singapore (RM8.8 billion), the Netherlands (RM6.5 billion), the US (RM3.7 billion), Hong Kong (RM2.9 billion), Switzerland (RM2.8 billion), Thailand (RM1.9 billion), Japan (RM1.7 billion) and South Korea (RM1.4 billion).

Selangor was the largest recipient of investments in the manufacturing sector last year at RM18.4 billion, followed by Sarawak (RM15.7 billion), Penang (RM14.1 billion), Sabah (RM12 billion) and Johor (RM6.8 billion).

The electrical and electronics came in at RM15.6 billion for the total approved investments followed by petroleum products including petrochemicals (RM15.5 billion), basic metal products (RM14.4 billion), paper, printing and publishing (RM7.8 billion), machinery and equipment (RM7.1 billion), chemicals and chemical products (RM6.3 billion), rubber products (RM4.3 billion) and transport technology (RM3.9 billion).

“It is noteworthy that investments in the three catalytic subsectors — electrical and electronics, machinery and equipment, and chemical — and two high growth areas — aerospace and medical devices outlined within the 11th Malaysia Plan constituted more than one third (38.6%) of the total approved investments on the manufacturing sector with investments valued at RM35.2 billion last year.

Azmin added that Malaysia’s pro-position as a hub for business and investments for the services sector attracted a total of RM66.7 billion in approved investments through 3,527 projects.