KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded investments totalling RM150.8bil in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors for the first nine months of 2016.
Although, the number of projects dropped 3.7% from RM156.6bil in the same period last year, it will create 117,550 job opportunities.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic) said in a statement the overall investment performance for the whole of 2016 could be sustained, despite the challenging global environment.
He said domestic investments accounted for 74.8% of the total investments at RM112.8bil, while foreign investments made up the rest.
“The services sector attracted the largest portion of approved investments, contributing 71.9% or RM108.4bil, followed by the manufacturing sector with investments of RM40.7bil or 27%, and the primary sector with approved investments of RM1.7bil or 1.1%,” he said.
The minister said that for the January-September 2016 period, the value of investments in the services sector increased 26.2% from the corresponding period last year.
He said the projects were expected to create 69,660 jobs, of which more than 95% were in distributive trade, Multimedia Super Corridor-status, hotel and tourism, education and global establishments.
“The total number of projects approved declined 3.9% to 3,203 compared with 3,334 projects from January-September 2015,” he added.
On the manufacturing sector, Mustapa said approved investments dropped 39% from January-September, from the corresponding period last year.
He said the total investments approved in the manufacturing sector were mainly in petroleum products, including petrochemicals (RM9.4bil), electronics and electrical products (RM7.3bil), natural gas (RM3.7bil), food manufacturing (RM3.3bil).
The other investments were for transport equipment (RM3bil), basic metal products (RM3bil), chemicals and chemical products (RM2.7bil), non-metallic minerals (RM1.7bil), and machinery and equipment (RM1.3bil).
“These make up 87% of total approved investments for this sector,” Mustapa said.
He said while the value of approved domestic investments dropped 57.8% to RM21.3bil, foreign investments in the manufacturing sector increased 12.9% to RM19.4bil during the period.
He said the leading sources of foreign investments were the Netherlands, China, the UK, Singapore and Japan.
“These five countries jointly accounted for 57% of total foreign investments approved in the manufacturing sector for the January-September period,” Mustapa added.
Meanwhile, he said the primary sector, comprising three main sub-sectors, namely agriculture, mining, and plantation and commodities, attracted investments worth RM1.7bil for the January-September period.
He said domestic investments contributed RM1bil, while investments by foreign sources totalled RM700,000.
“Going forward, investment performance for 2017 would reflect the optimism of investors who continue to find Malaysia as a strategic location for their investments.
“Recent trade and investment missions led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to Germany, China and Japan showed positive indication from the business communities there to invest in a wide range of manufacturing and services projects in Malaysia.
“In fact, the recent visit by the prime minister to China was very successful with the signing of 14 agreements worth RM144bil in various areas such as tourism, infrastructure, manufacturing and research and development,” Mustapa added.
The minister said while Malaysia also sought greater market access through bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, the government placed emphasis on protecting the interest of the country’s economy and the well-being of the people.
“We continue our efforts in developing the industrial ecosystems in the country and encourage domestic players to move up the value chain.
“To thrive in today’s challenging and fast-paced business climate, we must stay ahead of the game, and continue to expand and diversify our trade with the world,” he added. – Bernama