“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
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.
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.