SEREMBAN: The Negri Sembilan government is sticking to its initial target to secure RM5bil in investments this year, despite the Covid-19 outbreak, said its state executive council member, Datuk Dr Mohamad Rafie Ab Malek.
Mohamad Rafie, who holds the investment, industrialisation, entrepreneurship, education and human capital portfolios, said the state government has been working hard to get new investments despite the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) and the recovery movement control order (MCO).
"I must admit that we have not even reached 50% of what we had targeted, but we are going to keep working towards that.
"In fact, at Wednesday's (Aug 19) state exco meeting, we had discussed a potential RM1.5bil investment from a semiconductor company and we remain confident in reaching our target," he told reporters after the state exco meeting chaired by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun.
Mohamad Rafie said the state Pakatan Harapan government was confident, as it has been receiving high investments since it took over the state administration after the last general election.
The state received RM2.86bil in 2018 and RM3.68bil in 2019.
This, he said, was higher than the investments the previous state government used to bring in.
"It is not going to be easy to reach RM5bil, as we could not do much for months due to the pandemic, but we remain optimistic.
"To reach the target, the state exco has also agreed to use the fast track approach so that we will be able to attract more investors," he said, adding that the bulk of the foreign investments came from the United States, Japan and Korea, as well as from local investors.
Mohamad Rafie said the state government will launch the "Invest in Negri Sembilan 2021" campaign in November to attract more investments.
"We wanted to launch the campaign earlier this year, but had to defer it due to the pandemic.
"We will now launch it in November and have targeted to receive more than RM5bil investments for 2010," he said, adding that the state government will also announce incentives to attract investors at the launch.
On a separate matter, Mohamad Rafie said the state government has given out RM1.88mil in grants from the Negri Sembilan Entrepreneur Fund (TUNS) to 643 small-time entrepreneurs so far this year.
"The state government had set aside RM6mil for this, and we want more individuals who wish to become entrepreneurs to apply before it closes on September 20," he said.
The state government had set up TUNS in 2018 to help more people become entreprenuers.
Successful applicants are given a maximum of RM3,000 to help them expand their ventures.
He said 1,046 individuals received the grants last year.
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