Malaysian States Introduce Initiatives to Attract Investments Post-COVID19

August 2020

Several states in Malaysia continue to introduce initiatives to attract domestic and foreign investments as the country remains to be among the preferred investment destination worldwide despite the challenging global economic environment. The World Bank has recently projected Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to resume in 2021 at 6.9% following the outbreak, while the IMF has anticipated Malaysia’s GDP to grow by 6.3% next year.

In the northern region of West Malaysia, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) is playing a vital role in developing the regional economy by collaborating with the state governments of Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Penang as well as the private companies. In Perlis, the state will receive a total investment amounted to MYR 4.5 billion (USD 1 billion) in the Chuping Valley Industrial Area (CVIA) from five companies for various infrastructure and manufacturing projects. NCIA has worked with Kedah to put forward a three-pronged strategy focusing on strategic infrastructure development, accelerating private investment growth and empowering the people, as the state aims to achieve a GDP of MYR 62 billion (USD 14.8 billion) by 2027, specifically focusing on the recovery of the manufacturing, logistics and tourism industries.

Perak state is working with NCIA to draw over a total of MYR 1 billion (USD 239 million) investments from seven companies. In Penang, six companies have planned to invest MYR 525.3 million (USD 125 million) under the smart partnership with NCIA. This will be conducted through NCIA’s human capital EmpowerNCER program to improve the livelihood of people who have been affected by COVID-19 economic impact.

Investment activities are also happening in the East Coast of West Malaysia. For the first three months of 2020, Pahang state has acquired MYR 91 million (USD 21 million) worth of investments. The state has built a one-stop center in Gebeng, Kuantan to accelerate investors entry into the state, that now takes 22 approval days compared to the previous 44 days. Pahang state government is also looking for interested private investors to upgrade and commercialize fish landing site in Kuantan which is the East Coast’s highest volume of fish landing site as well as to set up a vegetable collection center.

In the southern region, Melaka via its investment promotion agency, Invest Melaka aims to attract investments worth MYR 5 billion (USD 1.197 billion) this year, with about MYR 2 billion (USD 478 million) to MYR 3 billion (USD 718 million) investments in the pipeline. Majority of the investments are from existing foreign companies in Melaka in the electronics and electrical (E&E) sector, which seek to expand their operations. In Johor, the state government has received various interests from multinational firms based in the United States and China in E&E and ICT sectors that are keen in shifting their operations to Johor. The companies have cited accelerated infrastructure and the development of large projects in Johor as one of the deciding factors to invest in Johor, compared to other states or countries.

(Sources: Malay Mail; The Edge Prop; NCER; MDBC; MIDA)

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