KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — The World Bank anticipates that the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030 will expedite a rise in private investments in Malaysia, as the long-term pattern has indicated a decline in numbers.

The World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor reported that Malaysia recorded net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows of RM 39.5 billion for 2023.

Its lead economist for Malaysia Apurva Sanghi said the significance of assessing the long-term trend is due to the reduced public and private investments.

“NIMP 2030 is seen as a driver to increase the FDI/GDP ratio, provided it is implemented well, including paying attention to opening up certain service sectors that are more restricted in Malaysia than in comparable countries,” he told Bernama after a media briefing to launch its Malaysia Economic Monitor themed “Bending Bamboo Shoots: Strengthening Foundational Skills” here today.

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Apurva emphasised that Malaysia should proactively liberalise services, which will be the key to NIMP’s successful execution.

During the briefing, Apurva said the World Bank has maintained Malaysia’s economic growth forecast at 4.3 per cent this year, driven by domestic consumption.

“Public consumption will contribute 0.4 per cent to the real GDP while private consumption is at 3.4 per cent whereas net exports see a 0.4 per cent contraction,” he said.

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He explained that growth in Malaysia’s FDI position slowed to 5.4 per cent in 2023 (2022: 12.4 per cent), which is in line with Asean’s FDI trends in 2023.

“East Asia and the Pacific were the main contributing region, with Singapore and Hong Kong contributing 55.7 per cent and 39.2 per cent of the increases in net FDI inflows,” he said.

East Asian and Pacific countries grew faster than the rest of the world in 2023, albeit slower than in the pre-pandemic period.

The ongoing recovery in tourism benefitted the region, he said. — Bernama