Penang still growing strong


(From left) Loo, investPenang director Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon, Chow and trade and industry, and entrepreneurship development committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain showing the investment figures at Komtar.

DESPITE the pandemic and global economic slowdown, Penang managed to add a feather to its cap with a year-on-year spike of 452% in approved manufacturing investments for the second quarter this year.

That amounts to RM2.02bil approved by Malaysian Investment Development Corporation between March and June, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow at a press conference in Komtar.

Penang was the hands-down winner nationally in attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) after raking in RM8.422bil between January and June.

Johor came in next in the same period with RM2.435bil followed by Terengganu with RM1.814bil.

The only other state that outdid Penang was Sabah which received RM11.727bil in capital investments, with RM11.715bil being domestic investments thanks to the state’s oil and gas resources.

But taking into consideration the China-United States trade war and the pandemic, Chow said the state was prepared to acknowledge that this year’s investment figures may not match last year’s all-time high of RM16.86bil.

Chow expressed gladness that the approved investments in the first half of this year from 29 projects was expected to create 6,971 new jobs.

Meanwhile, investPenang chief executive officer Datuk Loo Lee Lian told the press conference that about 80% of the approved investments are in various stages of implementation.

Chow said he urged the Federal Government to allow foreign investors with approved projects to enter Malaysia to see through the implementation of their project.

He also asked the Government to allow those in charge of trade missions to go out of this country to bring in deals with full compliance of the standard operating procedure.

Chow was asked to share his thoughts on Kedah’s hope that the proposed Kulim International Airport (KXP) be included into the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) even though the NASP will only be ready sometime in 2022 or 2023.

Chow replied that he understood Kedah’s predicament.

“If KXP is not approved, then Kedah’s chance to acquire the land will have expired. This was revealed in the National Physical Planning Council meeting in August where I was present.

“I made an appeal during my meeting with the Transport Minister (Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong) to prioritise the northern region first.”

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