KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Malaysia recorded a total of RM164 billion in approved investments through 4,599 projects in the manufacturing, services, and primary sectors in 2020, said Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
He said these investments are expected to create 114,673 jobs in various sectors of the economy once implemented.
“In contrast, a total of 5,287 projects with investments of RM211.4 billion were approved in 2019.
“This decline was weighed by the services and primary sectors which were directly impacted by declines in global demands due to the pandemic and the Movement Control Order (MCO) implementation,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
According to a statement released by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), domestic direct investments (DDI) accounted for 60.9 per cent (RM99.8 billion) of the total approved investments in 2020, while foreign direct investments (FDI) made up the remaining RM64.2 billion (39.1 per cent).
The manufacturing sector led the way for total investments approved in 2020, up 10.3 per cent from 2019 to RM91.3 billion in 2020, followed by the services sector (RM66.7 billion), and the primary sector (RM6.0 billion), it said.
MIDA said China (RM18.1 billion), Singapore (RM10.0 billion) and the Netherlands (RM7.0 billion) were the top three FDI sources from overall economic sectors in Malaysia, accounting for more than half (54.8 per cent) of the total approved FDI for the year.
It said Selangor (RM38.7 billion) recorded the highest investments approved last year, followed by Sabah (RM21.0 billion), Sarawak (RM19.6 billion), Kuala Lumpur (RM17.1 billion), and Penang (RM16.0 billion).
“These five states alone contributed more than 60 per cent of the total approved investments for 2020,” it said.
On the manufacturing sector, MIDA said the sector saw the number of manufacturing projects approved increased by 6.2 per cent to 1,049 projects in 2020 from 988 projects in 2019.
“When implemented, these approved manufacturing projects will create new jobs for more than 80,000 people.
“Of these, 35.8 per cent are in the managerial, technical and supervisory (MTS) positions, including engineers, plant maintenance supervisors, tools and die makers, machinists, IT (information technology) personnel, quality controllers, electricians, and welders,” it said.
MIDA said the FDI accounted for 62 per cent (RM56.6 billion) of total approved investments in the manufacturing sector, while domestic investments constituted the remaining 38 per cent (RM34.7 billion).
“It is important to note that despite the challenging times, the DDI surged by 22.6 per cent, while the FDI increased by 3.9 per cent compared to 2019,” it said, adding that China was the top investor in the manufacturing sector in Malaysia, contributing RM17.8 billion of the total foreign investments approved in the sector.
“China was also the largest source of foreign investments in the manufacturing sector for five consecutive years,” it said.
MIDA said other major sources of the FDI include Singapore (RM8.8 billion), the Netherlands (RM6.5 billion), the United States (RM3.7 billion), Hong Kong (RM2.9 billion), Switzerland (RM2.8 billion), Thailand (RM1.9 billion), Japan (RM1.7 billion), and South Korea (RM1.4 billion).
Selangor (RM18.4 billion) was the largest recipient of investments in the manufacturing sector for 2020, followed by Sarawak (RM15.7 billion), Penang (RM14.1 billion), Sabah (RM12.0 billion), and Johor (RM6.8 billion).
These five states constituted 73.4 per cent of total approved investments in the sector last year, it said.
Commenting on the achievement, Mohamed Azmin said new project investments, accounting for 66.9 per cent of the total manufacturing projects approved, were secured in 2020 amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a testament to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and MIDA’s efforts to ensure business continuity and investors’ friendly policies are in place to enable investors to have the confidence to establish new operations in the country,” he said.
The minister said his team had also tenaciously worked to ensure projects approved were implemented smoothly.
“This can be seen through the commendable rate of implementation in approved projects. For the period 2016-2020, a total of 4,178 projects were approved, of which 70.0 per cent with investments worth RM197.2 billion have been implemented in the country,” he added.