KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia approved RM71.4bil worth of investments in the first quarter of 2023 and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) says the country attracted more foreign direct investments (FDIs) than domestic direct investments (DDIs) in the period.
“FDI contributed RM37.5bil, representing 52.5% of the total approved investments, while DDI accounted for RM33.9bil, or 47.5% of the total approved investments,” Mida said in a statement.
Mida noted the top five states that attracted the approved investments were Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur with RM21.8bil, followed by Johor with RM10.6bil, Selangor with RM7.4bil, Perak with RM7.1bil, and Sabah with RM6.3bil.
“This underscores Malaysia’s continued appeal as an investment powerhouse. Both FDIs and DDIs almost match each other in value. From a domestic perspective, this clearly reflects renewed confidence in Malaysia’s growth prospects.
“All these will have positive spillover impact particularly on the SMEs in our domestic supply chain, and on the rakyat in terms of better paying jobs, which will help support our economy in the face of various global challenges this year,” said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
In terms of FDI origin, Singapore took the lead with RM11.5bil of investments and the British Virgin Islands was second at RM7.1bil, followed closely by China at RM6.5bil.
Hong Kong and South Korea contributed RM2.9bil and RM2.5bil of FDI respectively, Mida said.
It said the services sector surpassed all other sectors in terms of approved investments registered at RM53.6bil, which accounted for 75.1% of the total approved investments.
This is an impressive 226.8% year-on-year growth over the RM16.4bil figure in the 1Q22, it said.
Mida added the notable projects approved within the services sector include by GDS IDC Services (M) Sdn Bhd which is an investment of RM2.2bil in a hyperscale data centre project, followed by Seri Yakin Logistics Sdn Bhd, a RM1.4bil investment for the development of a smart warehouse, including an e-fulfillment hub.
Within the services sector, the information and communications sub-sector stood out prominently, attracting approved investments valued at RM24.9bil, representing a substantial 46.5% share.
The government had made good on its intention to focus on green investments, with several projects approved under green technology for renewable energy initiatives, such as those by Columbia Asia Sdn Bhd, Smiths Detection Centre Sdn Bhd, Iriichi (M) Sdn Bhd, and Tian Seng Hang Trading Company Sdn Bhd.
These projects highlight the diverse and promising opportunities within the services sector, Mida said.
Malaysia continued to attract a healthy level of investments in the manufacturing sector, valued at RM15.6bil or 21.8% of the total approved investments in the period.
This commitment was evident through the approval of 192 manufacturing projects which could generate up to 11,900 new job opportunities, Mida said.
Notably, it said the manufacturing sector in Malaysia received approval for several innovative, high value-added and high-technology projects.
Mida said the approved investments will help to re-orientate the industry technologically, redefine Malaysia’s industry standards and fuel future economic growth sustainably.
It said there are currently a total of 878 projects and proposed investments amounting to RM35.9bil for pipeline projects, and RM150.4bil for lead projects.
The manufacturing sector took the lead with 78.8% (RM28.3bil) of pipeline projects, while the services sector accounted for 21.2% (RM7.6bil) of the total, showcasing a diversified investment portfolio, it said.
“This robust pipeline and lead project portfolio solidify Malaysia’s reputation as an attractive and thriving investment destination.
“This is fuelled by its strategic location, robust infrastructure, skilled workforce and supportive business policies,” said Mida chief executive officer Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman.