KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Bernama) – Malaysia has successfully attracted RM53.9 billion in approved investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors in the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2019), an increase of 3.1 per cent from RM52.3 billion recorded in the same period last year.
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said the positive investment growth in Q1 2019 was mainly driven by the robust performance of the manufacturing sector which soared by 126.8 per cent compared with Q1 2018.
“Foreign investments increased by 73.4 per cent to RM29.3 billion from RM16.9 billion in Q1 2018. Domestic investments approved in Q1 2019 amounted to RM24.6 billion, contributing 45.6 per cent to the total,” it said in a statement today.
It added that the investments approved in January to March 2019 period were from 1,678 projects, and were expected to generate more than 41,200 job opportunities for the country.
“The manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share of total potential employment in the economy with 22,970 job opportunities or 55.7 per cent, followed by the services sector with 18,000 job opportunities (43.7 per cent) and primary sector with 240 employment opportunities (0.6 per cent),” it said.
MIDA said the jobs created included 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, information technology personnel, quality controllers, electricians and welders.
Two notable investments from the United States were projects from Micron Technology and Jabil Circuit, which will be expanding their manufacturing operations in Penang, while an investment from China was by XSD International Paper, which is projected to drive the development of all related papermaking in the region with its proposed investment of RM2.3 billion.
“These approved projects are expected to generate strong multiplier effects, which include the growth of domestic companies or engineering supporting industries, cluster development, local sourcing, strengthening of research and development activities and human capital development,” it said.
As for country breakdown for approved foreign investment in the manufacturing sector, the US contributed RM11.5 billion, China (RM4.4 billion), Singapore (RM2.2 billion), Japan (0.6 billion), and the British Virgin Islands (RM0.5 billion).
MIDA added that in the quarter, the services sector attracted the largest portion of approved investments involving 1,445 approved projects with investments worth RM26.1 billion.
The bulk of the investments were from domestic sources, which contributed RM18.0 billion or 69 per cent of the total approved investments, while foreign sources contributed RM8.1 billion or 31 per cent.
“The five main sub-sectors with the highest total investment were real estate (RM11.0 billion or 42.3 per cent), followed by distributive trade (RM8.2 billion or 31.6 per cent), utility (RM4.0 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),” it said.
Meanwhile, the primary sector contributed RM2.4 billion or 4.5 per cent to the total approved investments in Q1 2019, with the majority of investments from domestic sources (RM1.4 billion or 58.3 per cent), while foreign investment amounted to RM1.0 billion or 41.7 per cent.
“The mining sub-sector, dominated by the oil and gas exploration activities, led with approved investments of RM2.2 billion or 91.7 per cent, followed by plantation and commodities with RM140.0 million and agriculture sub-sector with RM43.5 million,” it said.
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By Sharifah Pirdaus Syed Ali
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