KUALA LUMPUR: The government, via the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), remains focused on attracting high-quality investments from foreign and domestic companies into Malaysia through various investment strategies and policy initiatives amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mida chief executive officer Arham Abdul Rahman said the continued aggressive strategy to attract high-level investments from both foreign and domestic investors is exhibiting promising results, with Malaysia recording a total of RM80.6bil worth of approved investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors in the first quarter of 2021 (January-March), a surge of 95.6% from the same period last year.
“These approved investments involved 993 projects and are expected to generate 32,557 job opportunities.
Malaysia remains a competitive investment location for foreign investors despite the multiple headwinds on the global front,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview recently.
He said total approved foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors increased by 383.4% to RM54.9bil for the period of January-March 2021 from RM11.4bil in the same quarter last year.
“It is observed that the significant FDI projects are mainly in the export-oriented and high technology sectors such as the electrical and electronics and medical devices as well as capital intensive sectors like basic metal products and chemical products.
“Most of the foreign or multinational corporations (MNCs) in Malaysia involved in the high technology sectors such as microelectronics, mechatronics, advanced materials, biomaterials, medical components, metal components, and aerospace composite and chemical products,” he said.
Arham said these MNCs played a significant role as the nation’s transformation agents for the manufacturing and manufacturing related services industry.
He added that the government continuously supports the local supply chain and vendors to grow their business and serve the MNCs.
In the effort to upgrade the domestic ecosystem of industries that support the major foreign projects here, he said the government introduced an Intervention Fund and Smart Automation Grant. It assists the local vendors in the supply chain of MNCs to automate and digitalise their manufacturing and business processes for higher efficiency.
As for the FDI interest in the services sector, he said the Principal Hub scheme had been the most preferred business activity for foreign investors, supported by government tax incentives since 2015.
“Malaysia seeks to become the preferred choice of location for headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region, challenging other regional competing countries.
“The country is also gaining attention as the heart of digital hub in Asean with the recent launch of the MyDigital initiative under the Digital Economy Blueprint,” he said.
Moving forward, Arham said the Cabinet on April 12, 2021 has approved a new investment agenda, building upon the National Investment Aspirations and Malaysia’s unique value proposition to investors.
As seen in the announcement of approved projects in the first quarter of 2021, he said many foreign investors confidently reflect their long-term investments in Malaysia. — Bernama