Malaysia’s foreign direct investments (FDI) increased by more than 220% in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, in a boost for Putrajaya’s strategy to attract capital-intensive projects to help the country’s economic recovery.
“Malaysia continues to attract high-value and high-tech investments, bolstered by our capacity and capability in providing high-skilled talents and firm readiness in adopting advanced technology for value-added industries,” senior minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said in a statement.
He said Malaysia recorded RM107.5 billion in foreign and domestic direct investments in the first half of 2021, a jump of 69.8% compared to the same period last year.
The investments involved more than 2,000 projects and are expected to create some 45,000 jobs.
Kedah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Sarawak and Johor contributed RM85 billion or 79% to the total approved investments with the potential of creating 31,395 jobs.
FDI comprised more than 58.1% of approved investments, with Singapore, South Korea and the Netherlands the top three foreign investment sources accounting for nearly 90% or RM54.9 billion of total approved FDI.
Domestic investments meanwhile totalled RM45 billion, mostly in the services and primary sectors.
The manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share of total investments during the first half of 2021, amounting to RM66.9 billion (62.2%), followed by the services sector (RM34.1 billion, 31.7%) and the primary sector (RM6.5 billion, 6.1%).
A total of 367 manufacturing projects worth RM66.9 billion were approved in the first six months of 2021 compared to RM36.4 billion in the same period last year.
Azmin said the jump in investments was recorded “amid a very challenging global economic landscape”.
In April, the Cabinet approved the National Investment Aspirations (NIA), a growth framework aimed at attracting high-quality investments and creating high-income jobs.
The NIA consists of five key outcomes for the country, namely to increase economic complexity, create high-value job opportunities, extend domestic linkages, develop new and existing clusters, and improve inclusivity.
“Going forward, from the strategic vantage point of the NIA, we will continue to pursue high quality investments to bring value to the nation and people, not just in preserving jobs but in creating new high value-added employment,” said Azmin.