KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Malaysia remains competitive in attracting foreign investors post-COVID-19 based on its convincing performance this year compared to last year, said Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
He, however, did not rule out the notion that there were foreign companies that had acted on their investments in the country following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is part of the rationalization plan made by the foreign companies and not due to the country’s unconducive environment.
“Various factors are taken by foreign companies to choose their investment destinations including low labour costs, the size of the domestic market and the available mineral resources,” he explained.
Mohamed Azmin said this in reply to additional questions from Fong Kui Lin (PH-Bukit Bintang) in Parliament on the status of foreign investors who withdrew their investments in the country following the COVID-19 pandemic and whether they would return to investing in post-COVID-19 countries.
He said that for the period from January to June 2021, Malaysia attracted investments of RM107.5 billion covering the manufacturing, services and key sectors. This amount shows a significant jump of 69.8 per cent compared to RM63.3 billion for the same period in 2020.
Of this, foreign direct investment (FDI) contributed 58.1 per cent or RM62.5 billion compared to RM19.8 billion for the same period in 2020.
In fact, he said the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021 report also raised Malaysia’s global competitiveness by two places to 25th out of 64 economies, compared to the 27th ranking in 2020.
In the meantime, Mohamed Azmin also updated the implementation figures of the Public-Private Partnership Industry Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) led by MITI aimed at increasing the vaccination rate of manufacturing sector workers.
As of Sept 25, 2021, he said a total of 1.06 million workers had been given an appointment under PIKAS of which 1,000,826 workers had been given the first dose while 899,626 workers had been fully immunized.