Malaysia recorded a total of RM92 billion of approved investments in the services, manufacturing and primary sectors for 1H2019, an increase of 7.6 percent compared with RM85.5 billion for the same period last year. These investments involved 2,554 projects and will create 59,542 employment opportunities in the country.
The services sector accounted for the largest share of the total with investments amounted to RM55 billion or 59.8 percent, followed by the manufacturing sector with RM33.1 billion (36.0 percent) and primary sector with RM3.9 billion (4.2 percent).
“Despite the challenging global economic landscape and more intense competition, Malaysia continued to sustain its investment growth momentum in the first half of 2019 (1H2019),” saysYB Datuk Darell Leiking, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
“Foreign investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors increased by 97.2 percent to RM49.5 billion from RM25.1 billion recorded in the first half of 2018. Domestic investments approved amounted to RM42.5 billion, contributing 46.2 percent to the total. This illustrates Malaysia competitive and comparative advantages in attracting investments amid mounting global market uncertainties and trade war tensions,” adds YB Datuk Darell.
A total of 2,150 services projects were approved in 1H2019 are expected to create more than 28,650 job opportunities. The real estate sub-sector remains as the largest contributor with RM18.5 billion despite a decline of 35.1 percent from 1H2018.
However, the global establishment, distributive trade, utilities and the hotel and tourism sub-sectors have all recorded increases during the period, accounting for 54.4 percent of total approved investments in the services sector.
Domestic investments made up the larger portion, recording RM32.6 billion or 59.3 percent of the total approved investments for the sector during this period while the remainder, RM22.4 billion were from foreign sources.
A notable services project is the large scale solar (LSS) expansion project to be undertaken by TNB Bukit Selambau Solar in Bukit Selambau, Kedah to provide renewable energy (RE) totalling 1,700MW by the year 2025. This is in line with the Government’s target of achieving 20 percent of the country’s electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2030.
The positive investment growth was driven by the robust performance of the manufacturing sector that soared by 74.2 percent compared to 1H2018. Malaysia’s manufacturing sector recorded approved investments of RM33.1 billion from 366 manufacturing projects for the first half of 2019 as compared to RM19.0 billion from 288 manufacturing projects in the same period last year.
Majority of the investments, 75.8 percent or RM25.1 billion were from foreign investments and the remaining 24.2 percent or RM8 billion were from domestic sources.
The approved manufacturing projects will create 30,449 job opportunities the largest potential employer in the economy. The jobs created include 1,829 electrical and electronics engineers, 896 mechanical engineers and 211 chemical engineers.
The top foreign sources were from the United States of America (USA) with investments of RM11.7 billion, followed by China (RM4.8 billion), Singapore (RM3.1 billion), Japan (RM2.1 billion) and the British Virgin Islands (RM1.4 billion). These five countries jointly accounted for 92 percent of total foreign investments approved in the manufacturing sector for this period.
“The expansion project of Longi Technology (Kuching) from China is amongst the notable high technology project approved from January to June 2019. The company is expanding its capacity to produce monocrystalline solar cell to meet demand in overseas markets. Other approved projects include a new project from Advance Energy Industries and expansion projects by On Semiconductors and Plexus Manufacturing. These three companies are from the USA,” adds YB MITI Minister.
“Malaysia has vast potentials to collaborate with foreign companies and benefit through the transfer of technologies and expertise that cut across many industries. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) through MIDA continues to encourage local sourcing by foreign companies.”
By value of investments, Pulau Pinang (RM9.2 billion), Kedah (RM7.7 billion), Selangor (RM6 billion), Johor (RM4 billion) and Perak (RM1.7 billion) accounted for 86.4 percent of the total approved investments in the manufacturing sector.
The primary sector contributed RM3.9 billion or 4.2 percent to the total approved projects in the first half of 2019. The mining subsector continued to lead with approved investments of RM3.6 billion, followed by plantation and commodities with RM257.3 million and agriculture with RM48.6 million. These investments are expected to create 443 job opportunities.
The agriculture sector illustrated a modest growth of 25.6 percent to RM48.6 million during 1H2019 driven by approved investments in crops-related agriculture project.
“Malaysia is striving to keep the nation’s deficit, inflation and unemployment low while putting in place policies that are pro-business. The Government is investing in human capital, technology and infrastructure and focusing on sharpening the countries competitive edge. Coupled with strategic promotions to welcome quality investments that will contribute to enhancing the country’s technological capabilities, develop the local supply chain and increase the country’s export revenue, Malaysia’s 1H2019 investment performance is the testament of the Government’s commitment to remain pro-business with prudent and pragmatic policies to ensure a conducive environment for businesses to thrive,” said YB Datuk Darell Leiking.