Tengku Zafrul: Malaysia expects higher approved investments this year, beating last year's record

"We are forecasting growth this year to be around 5% of total trade,” Tengku Zafrul said.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is confident of achieving higher approved investments in 2024 after recording an all-time high of RM329.5 billion last year.

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the ministry is yet to finalise the target figure, adding that "we will finetune the target but (expect a) minimum of 8 to 10 per cent growth in approved investments”.

He said the investment growth positively correlated with the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is forecast to grow 4.0-5.0 per cent this year.

"So, it has to be double the GDP growth. Then we look at the industries and their cycles, we see that the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector is at a good upcycle.

"But other sectors are experiencing oversupply, so there will be some impact,” he said during the annual announcement of Malaysia's investment performance in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors for 2023.

"To date, there are 1,710 projects in the pipeline, with proposed investments totalling RM87.8 billion,” he added.

Of these proposed investments, a total of 1,648 projects are from the selected services sector (RM52.7 billion), while 62 projects are from the manufacturing sector (RM35.1 billion), all of which fall under the Malaysian Investment Development Authority's (MIDA) purview.

Additionally, a total of RM88.82 billion in high-potential investment leads is actively being negotiated by MIDA.

On the ringgit, Tengku Zafrul said the investment sector is less sensitive to its movement.

"The currency for investment is not as sensitive when it comes to capital flows.

"When we discussed with investors, the ringgit was not discussed at all, to be honest,” he noted

Nevertheless, he highlighted the importance of doubling investment contribution to the GDP from the current 20-23 per cent.

"In 1990, the investment component of GDP was double what it is today. Last time, it was close to 35 per cent. So, we need to go back to where we were before,” he said.

He said the ministry is pushing harder to attract investment and trade into the country.

"MIDA’s restructuring as the central investment promotion agency is a strategic initiative to reshape and strengthen Malaysia's investment promotion landscape.

"The goal is to attract quality investments that complement national objectives, focus on essential industries, ensure the swift realisation of approved investments and boost investors’ contentment.

"Fundamentally, MIDA endeavours to create an inviting business climate, drive economic progress and provide investors with a smooth and rewarding experience,” Tengku Zafrul said. - Bernama

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