A TOTAL of RM7.2bil worth of capital investment for 536 manufacturing projects was approved by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) during the first six months of this year, its minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said.
She said domestic investment accounted for 57% or RM4.1bil of the total amount while foreign investment contributed the balance of RM3.1bil.
The larger share of domestic investment indicated that the strengthening of the Malaysian economy has led to increased confidence among local private enterprises, Rafidah said at the annual National investment and trade seminar and dialogue on opportunities in the manufacturing and related services held in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
In her speech, she said her ministry last year approved total investment of RM29.1bil for 965 projects in the manufacturing sector.
Foreign investment accounted for 54% of the total amount.
The manufacturing sector accounted for 31% of the country's gross domestic products (GDP) and 78.5% of our total exports last year, Rafidah said.
To ensure sustained economic growth amid keen competition for foreign direct investment in the region, she said the government had identified new growth areas such as manufacturing related services sector, agriculture and agro-based activities for potential development.
In fact the government has identified the whole services sector as a priority development area and Mida has been entrusted with the added responsibility to promote the development of the non-manufacturing related services sector, except for financial services and utilities sub-sectors, she said.
Having a single agency designated to coordinate the development would lead to a more effective promotion of Malaysias attraction as an investment location for services projects, she added.
The ultimate objective is to make Malaysia the preferred services hub in the region, she said.
The annual seminar and dialogue session organised by Miti was part of the government's efforts to encourage more domestic investments in the manufacturing and related services sectors.
The event provided the latest updates on government policy, incentives, facilities and support offered to both local and foreign investors keen on setting up their manufacturing and services operations in Malaysia.
Malaysian companies already have an enlarged market for their products and services with the full implementation of the Asean free trade area last year. In addition, we are pursuing bilateral free trade agreements with Japan, China, South Korea and Australia, Rafidah said.
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