Malaysia records highest approved investment of RM306.5b in 2021

The total FDI and DDI numbers exceeded expectations with stellar performance in 2021, increasing to 83.1% from 2020 


MALAYSIA recorded RM306.5 billion worth of approved investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors in 2021 — the highest amount of approved investments since 2006, according to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). 

The total foreign direct investment (FDI) and domestic direct investment (DDI) numbers exceeded expectations with stellar performance in 2021, increasing to 83.1% from 2020. 

This has made the country remain as an attractive investment destination for global and regional business expansion, said Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. 

He added that this has placed the country on a positive trajectory to propel our economy to greater heights as well as expedite efforts towards inclusive socio-economic growth. 

“The easing of pandemic containment measures has allowed for the resumption of economic activities coupled with high vaccination rates among diverse industries and professionals. 

“Further efforts were put in place to ensure that the business ecosystem remains responsive to global trends with policies and initiatives for business facilitation, talent upskilling and reskilling, digitalisation and automation. 

“In a nutshell, these measures have successfully placed our economy on a firm and resilient footing towards the path of vibrant growth and sustainable recovery,” he said while presenting Malaysia’s 2021 investment performance during MIDA’s Annual Media Conference (AMC) 2022 in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday. 

Mohamed Azmin said in 2021, FDI accounted for the bulk of total investments approved with a contribution of RM208.6 billion (68.1%), a jump of 224.9% from RM64.2 billion in 2020, while DDI accounted for the remaining RM97.9 billion (31.9%). 

He highlighted that the manufacturing sector led the way for total investments approved in 2021, recording RM195.1 billion, followed by the services sector RM94.1 billion and the primary sector with RM17.3 billion. 

According to the minister, the Netherlands (RM78 billion), Singapore (RM47.3 billion), People’s Republic of China (RM31.3 billion), Austria (RM18.9 billion) and Japan (RM9.9 billion) accounted for 88.9% of total FDI approved in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors. 

He added domestically Penang (RM83.5 billion) recorded the highest investments approved last year, followed by Kedah (RM68.3 billion), KL (RM37.7 billion), Selangor (RM28.8 billion) and Sarawak (RM25.7 billion). 

He noted that these five states contributed 79.6% of the total approved investments for 2021. Meanwhile, Mohamed Azmin also said Malaysia’s manufacturing sector secured projects worth RM195.1 billion for 2021 compared to the RM91.3 billion it gained in 2020 — a major increase of 113.7%. He said these achievements will offer 74,575 job opportunities, whereby 28,698 are managerial, technical, supervisory and skilled positions.

“The electrical and electronics (E&E) industry received the most investment opportunities, with 94 approved projects worth RM148 billion. 

“Besides the E&E industry, Malaysia attracted high levels of approved investments in other industries, including basic metal products (RM19.4 billion), chemicals and chemical products (RM5.8 billion), rubber products (RM5.8 billion) and food manufacturing (RM5.4 billion),” he added. 

Commenting further, Mohamed Azmin emphasised that it is important for Malaysia to continue to implement economic resilience for a more sustainable recovery. 

He said Malaysia would continue to move forward, strengthening resilience through strong policies that would further enhance the positive trajectory. 

The minister also said the National Investment Aspirations is poised to attract high impact investments in new growth areas which bring about bountiful spillover effects to the economy. 

“On that note, the New Industrial Master Plan 2022-2033 will further propel the local industries to accelerate digitalisation efforts and fully realise the benefits of transition into IR4.0,” he noted. 

As of December 2021, MIDA has identified 352 high-profile foreign investment projects, including Fortune 500 companies in the manufacturing and services sectors, with a combined potential investment value of RM39.2 billion. 

These include aerospace, electric vehicles, machinery and equipment, integrated circuit design, advanced electronics, advanced materials, fine chemicals, renewable energy (such as photovoltaic, optics and photonics), display technology, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, medical devices and food security. 

These projects are expected to create more than 19,000 new job opportunities.