KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 ― Malaysia is enjoying encouraging economic growth, with RM80.5 billion in foreign direct investments (FDIs) being approved across all sectors in 2018, a jump of 48 per cent from a year earlier.
Of the total amount, RM26.5 billion in FDIs were approved in the first half 2018, and the remaining RM54 billion in the second half.
In a statement today, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the country also saw a 3.2 per cent year-on-year rise in the Industrial Production Index (IPI) for January 2019, which was better than the market consensus of 2.3 per cent as indicated in a recent Bloomberg survey.
“This is consistent with the overall positive numbers Malaysia is recording, and the trend will likely continue in the near future despite external challenges,” he added.
Commenting on the improved FDIs, Lim said the marked increase highlighted the crucial role Malaysia had played as a stable regional manufacturing hub, as well as a safe-haven for international supply chains amid the continuing trade war between China and the United States(US).
“Indeed, FDIs planned by manufacturers from China surged 410.8 per cent to RM19.7 billion in 2018 from RM3.9 billion in 2017.
“At the same time, approved manufacturing investments from the US grew 184.9 per cent to RM3.2 billion in 2018 from RM1.1 billion previously,” he said.
Other than the two economic giants, Lim said Indonesian investors also intended to invest RM9 billion in 2018 from a mere RM500,000 in 2017, making the republic the second largest source of foreign manufacturing investment after China.
Approved FDIs are an important leading indicator that provides crucial information about the health of an economy. ― Bernama