“Im­prov­ing global econ­omy and ris­ing world trade sug­gest a more favourable in­vest­ment per­for­mance this year.”

DR YEAH KIM LENG Sun­way Univer­sity Busi­ness School eco­nomics pro­fes­sor

New Straits Times - - Business - FARAH ADILLA KUALA LUMPUR bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

THE higher in­vest­ments ap­proved by the Malaysian In­vest­ment De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (Mida) last year re­flect the re­silience of the coun­try’s in­vest­ment cli­mate and com­pet­i­tive­ness re­gion­ally.

Malaysian In­vest­ment De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (Mida) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Az­man Mah­mud said de­spite the chal­lenges from ex­ter­nal head­winds, Malaysia man­aged to at­tract in­vest­ments worth RM207.9 bil­lion last year, from RM186.7 bil­lion pre­vi­ously, which were mostly in high-qual­ity projects.

“It is note­wor­thy that a lion’s share of the ap­proved in­vest­ments by Mida was in cap­i­tal-in­ten­sive projects.

“All the ap­proved projects in 2016 will have sub­stan­tial mul­ti­plier ef­fects, par­tic­u­larly in the de­vel­op­ment of sup­port­ing in­dus­tries and the cre­ation of jobs for Malaysians,” he told NST Busi­ness on Fri­day.

Az­man said mov­ing for­ward, Mida was fo­cus­ing more on pro­mot­ing niche and com­plex prod­ucts for the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

“As for the ser­vices sec­tor, the em­pha­sis is in the ar­eas of prin­ci­pal hub, lo­gis­tics, the ecosys­tem sur­round­ing e-com­merce, green tech­nol­ogy and re­new­able en­ergy.”

Mean­while, Sun­way Univer­sity Busi­ness School eco­nomics pro­fes­sor Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the global in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment was chal­leng­ing last year due to sub­dued world growth, weak trade and un­cer­tain­ties caused by Brexit and ris­ing anti-glob­al­i­sa­tion sen­ti­ments, as re­flected by Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion as the United States pres­i­dent.

Yeah said on the do­mes­tic front, bud­get cuts had cur­tailed Mida’s over­seas pro­mo­tion ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Against the un­favourable back­drop, (last year) is a tes­ta­ment to the re­silience of the do­mes­tic in­vest­ment cli­mate and its com­pet­i­tive­ness re­gion­ally.

“Look­ing ahead, the im­prov­ing global econ­omy and ris­ing world trade sug­gest a more favourable in­vest­ment per­for­mance this year,” he added.

MIDF Amanah In­vest­ment Bank Bhd chief econ­o­mist Dr Ka­marud­din Mohd Nor said on the back of slow global for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) growth, Malaysia man­aged to reg­is­ter com­mend­able per­for­mance in at­tract­ing qual­ity ones into the coun­try.

“Our strate­gic of­fer­ings, such as busi­ness-friendly en­vi­ron­ment, com­pet­i­tive busi­ness cost, world­class in­fra­struc­ture, sup­port­ive poli­cies and the avail­abil­ity of tal­ented re­sources, help Malaysia to stand out among its peers.”

He added that the rise in FDIs for the ser­vices sec­tor re­flected the coun­try’s con­tin­u­ous ef­forts to move up the value chain by do­ing away with low value-added in­vest­ment.

Bank Is­lam Malaysia Bhd chief econ­o­mist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Ab­dul Rashid said the news was cer­tainly “mu­sic to the ear” in par­tic­u­lar when busi­ness sen­ti­ments re­mained weak amid eco­nomic un­cer­tainty, es­pe­cially the ex­ter­nal sec­tor which con­tin­ued to hog the lime­light.

“There­fore, it is ut­most im­por­tant to en­sure that busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment will con­tinue to be con­ducive, es­pe­cially in main­tain­ing rea­son­able cost of do­ing busi­ness,” he said.

PIC BY SURIANIE MOHD HANIF

Malaysian In­vest­ment De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (Mida) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Az­man Mah­mud says a lion’s share of the ap­proved in­vest­ments by Mida last year was for cap­i­tal-in­ten­sive projects.

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