KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Malaysia is expected to post a strong number for its approved investments for the year 2021, which will be announced on March 8, surpassing the performance of the past three years, said the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).
MIDA chief executive officer, Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman said Malaysia has displayed a strong resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges because the pandemic offered the country a unique opportunity.
“Our resilience and efforts in implementing various outreach and investment promotion programmes paid off. Within the first nine months of 2021, foreign direct investments (FDI) contributed RM106.1 billion, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of the total approved investments.
“The remainder 40.3 per cent or RM71.7 billion, were channelled from domestic direct investments (DDI), thanks to the existing and new aspiring local companies meeting the growing industrial needs of different multinational companies (MNCs),” he said at an appreciation and networking session with the media on Thursday.
Malaysia had approved RM164 billion investments through 4,599 projects in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors in 2020, RM211.4 billion in 2019, and RM201.7 billion in 2018.
As for 2022, Arham shared that MIDA remained optimistic to get good numbers but it would be challenging to beat 2021.
He opined that this was because Malaysia was able to attract a few notable projects with very high-value amounts last year, such as those of Risen Energy Co Ltd’s solar project with an investment of RM42.2 billion.
In the pipeline for this year, he said that MIDA has 477 projects with proposed investments of RM33.3 billion in the manufacturing and services sectors within its purview.
Among them are aerospace, electronic vehicles (EV), machinery and equipment, integrated circuit (IC) design, advanced electronics, advanced materials, fine chemicals, renewable energy such as solar photovoltaic (PV), optics and photonics, display technology, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, medical devices, as well as food security.
“We are looking to leverage on the recovery momentum experienced in 2021 to spur Malaysia’s investment growth in 2022.
“MIDA is also aiming to profile Malaysia as a regional digital hub with a holistic business ecosystem that converts investments into sustainable economic pillars. We want to mitigate environmental impact, expedite socio-economic developments, extend domestic linkages, promote new growth clusters and offer inclusivity,” he said.
Arham noted that MIDA will be focusing on pursuing more high-quality, capital-intensive projects and those that support the sustainable development agenda of the nation.
Looking towards 2022, he said MIDA encourages companies to accelerate the adoption of digitalisation and intensify research and development (R&D) activities to discover new technologies.
“We stress on accelerating the adoption and adaptation of advanced factory automation and digitalisation levels to enable the transition of brick and mortar hubs into smart factories to enhance flexibility and optimise productivity and growth remotely.
“MIDA strives to ensure that Malaysia remained welcoming of investors by rolling out measures to ease the challenges of operating businesses in the country while encouraging and facilitating the adoption of technology, innovation and research by companies,” he said.
To reflect this, he said that MIDA has lined up targeted trade and investment missions (TIM) and Specific Project Missions (SPM) to capture investments in high technology, innovation and research-driven industries that will complement the Malaysian industrial ecosystem.