The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is targeting total approved investments worth MYR 200 billion (USD 49.2 billion) for 2019 with a continued focus on high technology areas. During 2018, approved investments in the Manufacturing, services and primary sectors stood at MYR 201.7 billion (USD 49.6 billion), nearly the same as the MYR 200.6 billion (USD 49.4 billion) during 2017. Domestic direct investments accounted for around 60% of investment in 2018. Foreign investments were 48% higher than 2017.
Approved investments in Manufacturing came up to MYR 87.4 billion (USD 21.5 billion) in 2018, 37.2% higher compared to MYR 63.7 billion (USD 15.7 billion) in 2017. The services and primary sectors recorded investments of MYR 103.4 billion and MYR 10.9 billion respectively in 2018.
Foreign investments in approved Manufacturing projects more than doubled to MYR 58.0 billion (USD 14.3 billion) in 2018 from 2017’s figure of MYR 21.6 billion (USD 5.3 billion), constituting over 66% of the total approved investments in Manufacturing. China, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Japan and the USA contributed 76.4% of the total foreign Manufacturing investments approved during the period. A new Manufacturing facility in Penang by Pentax Medical, one of the top three endoscopic and surgical system manufacturers in the world and a facility for Jinjing Technology from China that will be located at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park were among notable approved investments in 2018.
The petroleum products including petrochemicals industry with approved investments of MYR 32.9 billion (USD 8.1 billion) made significant contribution to Manufacturing performance. A notable project in this industry is Sarawak Petchem which is part of the Sarawak State Government initiative to develop Bintulu as a petrochemical hub. This is in addition to investments by Pengerang Energy Complex and Petronas Chemicals Isononanol that will be located in Johor.
In the services sector, foreign investments contributed around 16%, while the remaining 84% were domestic. total of eight new Principal Hub (PH) projects were approved, with committed business spending of MYR 7.1 billion. Among the approved PH projects were Smart Modular Technologies, Frencken Group, Onwards Media Group and Jobstreet.
Investments in the primary sector registered a decline of 12.2% largely due to lower investments in oil and gas exploration activities, under the mining subsector.
(Source: The Star Online; The Sun Daily)