MALAYSIA remains the preferred investment destination for multinational corporations (MNCs) as reflected by the continuous inflow of foreign investment.
Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida) chairman Tan Sri Zainal Abidin Sulong said that between 1999 and March this year, 83.6% of the total approved investments were from foreign investors.
There were 828 electronic projects approved with total capital investment amounting to RM38.4bil during the period, he said in his speech read by Mida electronic industries division director Ramli Othman at the opening of the four-day NEPCON Microelectronics Penang 2004 exhibition in Relau.
Of the total foreign investment approved, 71.7% came from existing companies undertaking expansion and diversification projects, he said.
Domestic investment in the electronics industry has also increased from 15.2% (RM1.03bil) in 1999 to 26.3% (RM1.3bil) last year, he said.
A total of 292 companies from 23 countries are taking part in the exhibition, hailed as Malaysia's biggest electronics manufacturing event, open to traders and professionals only.
A national seminar on Investment Opportunities in the Electronics Industry was also held in conjunction with the exhibition.
Zainal also said that to remain competitive, many MNCs were increasingly outsourcing their manufacturing activities to electronics manufacturing services (EMS) companies.
The global EMS market last year was about RM342bil and expected to increase to RM547.2bil by 2007.
The EMS industry in the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to grow at 20% per annum and the presence of many EMS companies here will surely see the growth in the electronics industry. This will in turn increase opportunities for the local supporting industries, Zainal added.