GEORGE TOWN, Nov 17 — Penang’s economic growth and strong financial performance has placed the state on a trajectory towards emerging as a key economic force in Asean, Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak said today.

He said Penang’s economy experienced substantial growth in 2022 at 13.1 per cent with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) value of RM112.1 billion as compared to a growth rate of 6.9 per cent for the previous year .

“The manufacturing sector, as reported by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, continued to drive the state's economic growth, with a significant increase from 12.4 per cent in 2021 to 15.9 per cent in 2022,” he said in his speech at the official opening of the first term of the 15th state legislative assembly here.

He noted that Penang attracted RM13.7 billion in approved manufacturing investments in 2022, involving 135 projects and generating 15,752 new job opportunities.

“The state's contribution of 16 per cent to the approved manufacturing investments in the country for 2022 establishes Pulau Pinang as a significant player,” he said.

He added that foreign direct investments in the state reached RM9.7 billion, which makes up 71 per cent of the manufacturing investment inflow in 2022, while domestic direct investments accounted for RM4 billion or 29 per cent.

He said it is also important for the state to maintain its financial integrity and commended the state for consistently preserving its financial integrity.

He said this is evident with the state being awarded a clean certificate by the auditor-general for the financial year 2022.

“The state's strong financial performance is also evident in the accumulated balance of RM1.859 billion in its state consolidated funds as at 2022,” he said.

He said the state had successfully reduced its debts from RM45.41 million in 2021 to RM41.11 million in 2022, which is a reduction of RM4.30 million or 9.5 per cent.

He said the state had also avoided obtaining new loans from the federal government.

“The absence of new loans since 2016 underscores the state's financial excellence, and I urge that the state continues with this stellar performance to cultivate public confidence, attract more investors and stimulate economic growth,” he said.

He attributed the significant economic progress of the state to the leadership of Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and his administration.