New Straits Times
MALAYSIA ONE OF TOP 5 COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD IN WHICH TO INVEST
US News ranks country ahead of Singapore and Thailand INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE AND OUTLOOK
MALAYSIA is one of the best countries to invest in, despite registering a slight drop in total value of approved investments last year.
It is the fourth best country for investment this year, according to US News, which has ranked its top 20 list of “Best Countries To Invest In” based on the World Bank criteria.
The World Bank highlighted four factors — people, environment, relationships and framework — to qualify as a country worthy of investment,
US News, founded as a weekly magazine in 1933 and turned mainly to web-based publishing in 2010, released its 2018 Best Countries ranking last month.
It had surveyed more than 21,000 people in 80 countries, assessing them on 65 different attributes, including cultural influence, entrepreneurship and quality of life.
Malaysia is ranked behind the Philippines, Indonesia and Poland, but ahead of Asean neighbours Singapore (fifth) and Thailand (eighth). Others in the top 10 are Australia (sixth), Spain (seventh), India (ninth) and Oman (10th).
Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) yesterday disclosed that Malaysia had recorded approved investments of RM197.1 billion in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors last year.
Domestic direct investments accounted for the bulk of the investments, or 72.2 per cent, at RM142.4 billion while foreign direct investments (FDIs) contributed RM54.7 billion, or 27.8 per cent.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the investments were derived from 5,466 projects, which were expected to generate 139,520 jobs.
“The country’s overall investment performance moderated by 7.4 per cent due to lower approved investments in the services sector, which saw a decline of 17.2 per cent to RM121.1 billion last year, from RM146.2 billion in 2016.
“The decline was mainly attributed to the real estate subsector, which saw a 28.7 per cent drop in value to RM45.7 billion despite a 43.1 per cent increase in the number of projects approved, reflecting a change in investment strategies towards smaller-sized projects in the subsector.
“Nonetheless, the overall investment performance was bolstered by the manufacturing and primary sectors which recorded increases of 8.9 and 51.2 per cent, respectively,” said Mustapa at the presentation of Malaysia’s Investment Performance Report 2017, here, yesterday.
In the manufacturing sector, domestic investments were dominant, contributing 66.2 per cent to the total investment approved, while the balance came from FDIs.
Most of the domestic investments were in new projects (RM31.8 billion) while RM10.3 billion went into expansion or diversification projects.
The sector’s biggest foreign investors were from China, Switzerland, Singapore, the Netherlands and Germany, accounting for RM12.1 billion, or 56 per cent, of foreign investments approved last year.
The services sector remained the largest contributor with RM121 billion in value, or 61.4 per cent of total approved investments. This is despite a contraction of 17.2 per cent last year although the number of projects rose 7.7 per cent.
The sector continued to be the largest employer in the economy last year, having created 82,172 job opportunities, or 59 per cent of the total opportunities in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors.
Primary sectors saw a substantial increase of 51.2 per cent in approved investments from 48 projects worth RM12.4 billion compared with RM8.2 billion from 41 projects in 2016.
The mining sub-sector led with approved investments of RM11.7 billion in 32 projects, mainly from the oil and gas exploration activities and followed by the plantation and commodities and agriculture.