Foreign investments up 73pc in Q1, boosted by strong manufacturing

Mida noted that foreign investments in manufacturing projects increased by 127 per cent to RM20.2 billion in the first quarter of the year from RM8.9 billion in the same period last year.  — Reuters pic
Mida noted that foreign investments in manufacturing projects increased by 127 per cent to RM20.2 billion in the first quarter of the year from RM8.9 billion in the same period last year. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Foreign investments increased 73.4 per cent to RM29.3 billion in the first quarter of the year from RM16.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) said today.

Mida said domestic investments totalled RM24.6 billion, comprising 45.6 per cent of total investments of RM53.9 billion in the manufacturing, services, and primary sectors in Q1 this year. Total investments grew 3.1 per cent from the same period last year.

“The positive investment growth of Q1 2019 was mainly driven by the robust performance of the manufacturing sector that soared by 126.8 per cent compared to Q1 2018,” MIDA said in a statement.

The agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) added that the investments for the first quarter of the year were expected to generate more than 41,200 job opportunities, including 22,970 and 18,000 job opportunities in the manufacturing and services sectors respectively.

The services sector attracted the largest share of investments in the first quarter of the year at RM26.1 billion, 69 per cent of which came from domestic sources.

The five main sub-sectors that led the services sector with the highest total investment were real estate (RM11 billion or 42.3 per cent), distributive trade (RM8.2 billion or 31.6 per cent), utility (RM4 billion or 15.4 per cent), hotel and tourism (RM1.8 billion or 7.0 per cent) and support services (RM550.9 million or 2.1 per cent).

According to Mida, the manufacturing sector recorded an “impressive” investment of RM25.4 billion in Q1 this year, up 126.8 per cent from the RM11.2 billion recorded in Q1 2018.

“The manufacturing projects approved will create 22,970 new job opportunities. The jobs created include 1,590 electrical and electronics engineers, 710 mechanical engineers and 180 chemical engineers. In addition, the approved manufacturing projects will also require about 1,710 skilled craftsmen such as plant maintenance supervisors, tools and die, makers, machinists, IT personnel, quality controllers, electricians and welders.”

Mida also noted that foreign investments in manufacturing projects increased by 127 per cent to RM20.2 billion in the first quarter of the year from RM8.9 billion in the same period last year.

Mida highlighted two US projects from Micron Technology and Jabil Circuit that will be expanding their manufacturing operations in Penang, as well as Chinese investment from XSD International Paper that is expected to drive papermaking in the region with its proposed RM2.3 billion investment.

A total of 150, or 70 per cent, of the manufacturing projects approved will be located in Selangor

(75), Penang (41) and Johor (34). Penang will benefit the most from these investments at RM8.8 billion, followed by Kedah (RM7.6 billion) and Johor (RM2.4 billion).

The primary sector contributed RM2.4 billion or 4.5 per cent of total investments in Q1 2019, 58.3 per cent of which came from domestic sources. Most of the investments were contributed from mining, dominated by oil and gas exploration activities.

“Following the encouraging numbers of approved investments in Q1 2019, Miti and its agencies, particularly Mida, will continue to assume a strong role in attracting more quality investments as well as facilitating the implementation of approved projects.

“As to date, Mida has 471 projects in the pipeline with investments worth RM30.4 billion for the manufacturing and services sectors.”

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