New Straits Times
Strong performance to continue on favourable macroeconomics
KUALA LUMPUR: Economists expect investments in Malaysia to remain strong this year on the back of favourable macroeconomics.
MIDF Research chief economist Dr Kamaruddin Mohd Nor said the country’s investment performance last year was in line with the global trend.
Malaysia approved RM197.1 billion investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors last year, about seven per cent lower than in 2016.
“The moderate performance, especially in the services sector, was in tandem with a slowdown in the property market,” Kamaruddin told NST Business yesterday.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said while the overall approved investment fell last year, the manufacturing sector was able to buck the trend.
He said the total investment approved for the manufacturing sector had improved to RM63.7 billion last year from RM58.5 billion in 2016, mainly due to investments by domestic companies.
“This is noteworthy as manufacturing players are striving to elevate themselves by investing and upgrading their production capacity.
“This would allow them to gain further economies of scale and along the way, it would result in demand for high-skilled labour, especially for our TVET (technical and vocational education and training) graduates.
“Hopefully, such trend would continue and be able to reduce our dependencies on low-skilled foreign labour,” added Afzanizam.