Business leaders: Malaysia still attractive for foreign and local investors

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s steady economic growth makes the country an attractive destination for foreign investors, according to foreign and local business leaders at the Asean Business Leaders Conclave.

They noted that while the weaker ringgit was a cause for concern, the country’s longer-term outlook remains favourable.

“The prospects for Malaysia going forward are positive,” real-estate investment firm Bonds Group of Companies’ chairman and chief executive officer Anson Chan said.

Chan, who is based in Hong Kong, is on a visit to scout for real estate opportunities. Apart from Malaysia, Chan is also positive on Vietnam and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Berjaya Corp Bhd founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan said there were plenty of opportunities for foreign investors to invest in Malaysia.

“Malaysia still presents good stability and its economy was still performing relatively well,” he said at the business networking event.

He also said that the weaker ringgit was not negative for the economy.

“The weakening ringgit is not negative as I recall the last global financial crisis when the ringgit was pegged at RM3.80 and we experienced trade surpluses that eventually led to savings. We just have to import less expensive things and export more,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Nesma Holding president and chairman Saleh Al Turki also echoed similar views.

He applauded Malaysia’s education system that had grown tremendously over the last few years.

“The Saudis are now coming over to Malaysia because of its education system,” he said, adding that Malaysia’s growth of about 4.5% was one of the performers among other developing nations.

Saleh, who invests in Malaysia via investment funds said the growth factors in the country were still positive.

More than 350 foreign delegates attended the Asean Business Leaders Conclave launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tub Razak here yesterday.

The event was aimed at bringing Asia’s foremost business leaders to discuss ways to ensure the region remained the most thriving centre for trade in the world. – The StarOnline

Malaysia investments at RM150.8bil for Jan-Sept 2016

Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, in a statement said the overall investment performance for the whole of 2016 could be sustained, despite the challenging global environment

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded investments totalling RM150.8 billion in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors for the first nine months of 2016.

Although, the number of projects dropped 3.7 per cent from RM156.6 billion in the same period last year, it will create 117,550 job opportunities.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, in a statement said the overall investment performance for the whole of 2016 could be sustained, despite the challenging global environment.

He said domestic investments accounted for 74.8 per cent of the total investments at RM112.8 billion, while foreign investments made up the rest.

“The services sector attracted the largest portion of approved investments, contributing 71.9 per cent or RM108.4 billion, followed by the manufacturing sector with investments of RM40.7 billion or 27 per cent, and the primary sector with approved investments of RM1.7 billion or 1.1 per cent,” he said.

The minister said for the January-September 2016 period, the value of investments in the services sector increased 26.2 per cent from the corresponding period last year.

He said the projects were expected to create 69,660 jobs, of which more than 95 per cent were in distributive trade, Multimedia Super Corridor-status, hotel and tourism, education and global establishments.

“The total number of projects approved declined 3.9 per cent to 3,203 compared with 3,334 projects from January-September 2015,” he added.

On the manufacturing sector, Mustapa said approved investments in it dropped 39 per cent from January-September, from the corresponding period last year.

He said the total investments approved in the manufacturing sector were mainly in petroleum products, including petrochemicals (RM9.4 billion), electronics and electrical products (RM7.3 billion), natural gas (RM3.7 billion), food manufacturing (RM3.3 billion).

The other investments were for transport equipment (RM3 billion), basic metal products (RM3 billion), chemicals and chemical products (RM2.7 billion), non-metallic minerals (RM1.7 billion), and machinery and equipment (RM1.3 billion).

“These make up 87 per cent of total approved investments for this sector,” Mustapa said.
He said while the value of approved domestic investments dropped 57.8 per cent to RM21.3 billion, foreign investments in the manufacturing sector increased 12.9 per cent to RM19.4 billion during the period.

He said the leading sources of foreign investments were the Netherlands, China, the UK, Singapore and Japan.

“These five countries jointly accounted for 57 per cent of total foreign investments approved in the manufacturing sector for the January-September period,” Mustapa added.

Meanwhile, he said the primary sector, comprising three main sub-sectors, namely agriculture, mining, and plantation and commodities, attracted investments worth RM1.7 billion for the January-September period.

He said domestic investments contributed RM1 billion, while investments by foreign sources totalled RM700,000.

“Going forward, investment performance for 2017 would reflect the optimism of investors who continue to find Malaysia as a strategic location for their investments.

“Recent trade and investment missions led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to Germany, China and Japan showed positive indication from the business communities there to invest in a wide range of manufacturing and services projects in Malaysia.

“In fact, the recent visit by the prime minister to China was very successful with the signing of 14 agreements worth RM144 billion in various areas such as tourism, infrastructure, manufacturing and research and development,” Mustapa added.

The minister said while Malaysia also sought greater market access through bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, the government placed emphasis on protecting the interest of the country’s economy and the well-being of the people.

“We continue our efforts in developing the industrial ecosystems in the country and encourage domestic players to move up the value chain.

“To thrive in today’s challenging and fast-paced business climate, we must stay ahead of the game, and continue to expand and diversify our trade with the world,” he added. — BERNAMA