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Amirudin: Selangor poised to draw in selected high-quality investments

Selangor aims to attract selected high-quality investments aligned with the current industries identified by the state, according to Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

He said the state is pursuing investments in public transportation, climate change solutions, higher-quality manufacturing, especially through automation, or new fields in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals to prepare for the next endemic or pandemic, and not just any type of investment.

“It is clear that the business of investment is not solely based on the past,” he shared in his opening speech during the 7th Selangor International Business Summit (SIBS) 2023 held here today (October 19).

“That is why I have made it crystal clear to my entire Selangor team that, while we have performed well, we cannot take things for granted or become complacent, hoping that our past successes can guarantee future success,” he said.

Amirudin noted that his team has already put in the hard work to attract foreign investors to establish their presence in Selangor.

“Just the other day, I inaugurated Daiso Japan’s largest global distribution centre, which will be built in Pulau Indah, Selangor,” he said.

Similarly, other investors such as Toyota, Texas Instruments, Wistron, Airbus, Aerodyne, and ALP had played an instrumental role in Selangor’s economy, contributing to the state’s 11.9 per cent growth last year, surpassing the national growth rate by 3.2 per cent, he added.

The seventh edition of SIBS 2023, which begins today until October 22, will feature several trade show components, including the Selangor International Food and Beverage Expo, the Selangor International Medical Expo and the new Selangor Industrial Park Expo, with at least 1,050 booths open for 50,000 visitors.

Source: Bernama

Amirudin: Selangor poised to draw in selected high-quality investments

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The investment implementation rate is close to 80 per cent for the period from 2018 to June 2023.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said out of the total investment approvals of RM753.9 billion in the manufacturing and services sector, up to RM593.5 billion or 78.7 per cent had been realised during the period.

“For the period 2018 to June 2023, the total investment approved is worth RM753.9 billion in the manufacturing and services sector under the supervision of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

“This investment involves 9,201 projects that will generate a total of 455,984 new job opportunities.

“Of the total approvals, up to RM593.5 billion or 78.7 per cent of the total investment approved during the period had been realised. The investment implementation rate for that period is close to 80 per cent,“ he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2024 for the ministry in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) always implements careful planning from time to time, especially to improve aspects related to facilitating the entry and realisation of investments.

Tengku Zafrul said the government has taken an approach in making administrative reforms through the establishment of the Investment and Trade Action Coordination Committee (JTPPP) under MITI.

“The JTPPP which had been convened for the first time on Oct 16, 2023 was chaired by me. The second meeting will be held tomorrow.

“In general, JTPPP acts as a platform that is able to monitor and take action on issues faced by investors, especially for strategic and iconic investment projects.

“The JTPPP monitoring starts as early as when the application is expressed by the company concerned, until the investment projects are realised,“ he said.

He said the establishment of the JTPPP is an administrative reform initiative, expressing the government’s commitment in an effort to ‘translate plans into action’ while also supporting the role of the National Investment Council (MPN), which is an investment-related council at the highest level of the country.

“From January to June 2023, Malaysia has attracted a total of RM132.6 billion in approved investments in the service, manufacturing and primary sectors, which is 60 per cent of the target for 2023.

“Domestic direct investment (DDI) is the main contributor with total approved investments worth RM69.3 billion (52.2 per cent), while foreign direct investment (FDI) amounts to RM63.3 billion (47.8 per cent),“ he said.

He said various incentives have been introduced and implemented by the government which not only aims to attract investment in electric vehicles (EVs) but also to benefit the people.

“The incentives offered include direct and indirect tax exemptions.

“For direct taxes, the government offers income tax exemptions through the Pioneer Status Incentive or Investment Tax Allowance of up to 100 per cent for a period of up to 10 years to encourage investment in the production of EVs and related critical components such as batteries, motors and others.

“Indirect tax incentives include those for import duty, excise duty and sales tax,“ he said.

To encourage the use of EVs in the country, the government is also offering incentives directly to EV owners such as a complete exemption from road tax for EVs whether they are locally assembled or imported for four years until Dec 31, 2025.

He said the government is also offering individual income tax relief of up to RM2,500 for the cost of installation, rental and purchase including hire purchase of equipment or EV charging facility subscription fees for the assessment year 2022-2023.

“Under Budget 2024, this incentive period has been extended for another four years until the assessment year 2027,“ he said.

He said under Budget 2024, the government has introduced the Electric Motorcycle Usage Incentive Scheme with a rebate of up to RM2,400 — this scheme aims to help petrol-type motorcycle users to switch to electric motorcycles.

Source: Bernama

Tengku Zafrul: Investment implementation rate almost 80% up to June 2023

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The Malaysian government is confident in realising the RM170 billion investment pledge from China, which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced during his visit to the country in April this year.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said an investment commitment means agreeing to invest in Malaysia.

“The next step is that the company will apply for investment approval from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida).

“At this stage, the investor will make known more details of their investment. This is also the time when they will apply for investment incentives,” he said in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Monday.

Tengku Zafrul also said that once the details of the investment and incentives have been agreed upon, then the investment will be approved.

“After approval, for small investments, it may take a year to see results. If it is a large investment that requires advanced technology and equipment, it may take up to three years to start realising it,” he said.

The minister said the government has also created an investment and trade action coordination committee (JTPPP) to examine the latest status of investment projects.

“One of the JTPPP’s functions is to examine the latest status of investment and trade projects that have been announced to monitor and resolve issues and challenges faced by investors and exporters.

“This JTPPP reports to the National Investment Council, which is chaired by the prime minister. The council meets monthly to discuss the progress of all investment commitments.

”That is how serious the prime minister and the government are trying to realise all investment commitments,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul also said that as of June this year, the country has secured approved investments worth RM132.6 billion, more than 60 per cent of this year’s target.

Source: Bernama

Govt confident about realising RM170bln in investment commitments from China — Minister

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia will certainly reciprocate Singapore’s increasing investments and trade into Malaysia with serious attempts to resolve most of the outstanding issues.

“…outstanding issues sometimes deemed to be contentious by parties but I must suggest here that it was, to a large extent, resolved amicably through friendship,” said Anwar in a joint press conference with his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.

Anwar expressed his excitement about the level of achievement in resolving those issues which he said “is quite unprecedented.”

Both Prime Ministers met in Singapore today for the 10th Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anwar noted that he has always suggested that both countries should not take any issues in isolation and look at the whole bilateral setup and the interest in resolving the issues.

Citing water supply issues that have been long outstanding, Anwar said Malaysia’s position is clear “that we have to honour the commitment of water from Johor to Singapore.”

“We will have to work jointly to ensure Johor would be able to enhance the capacity through Johor river to supply both Johor’s needs which is also expanding, and for Singapore.

“I think instead of focusing purely on price mechanism, we should look at the possibility of Singapore participating in a joint effort, where a study which can be conducted immediately, and also in terms of management of Johor river with Johor state,” he said.

According to a joint statement issued after the Retreat, the leaders reaffirmed their commitments as provided for in the 1962 Johore River Water Agreement (62WA).

Both Leaders agreed to reconvene the Joint Technical Committee to resume discussions on measures to safeguard the water quality, as well as increase the yield of the Johore River, to ensure its sustainable supply to the extent required by the 62WA.

The Leaders also agreed that both countries will resume discussions on the raw and treated water prices, without prejudice to each other’s respective long-declared positions on the right to review the prices under the 62WA.

They further expressed their appreciation to the Singapore and Johor water authorities for their ongoing close cooperation on water issues.

The leaders encouraged the water authorities to maintain their excellent working relationship and looked forward to more areas of collaboration between the two countries.

As for airspace issues, Anwar said there is some agreement on the perimeters and described it as “some remarkable feet in terms of both bilateral relations.

In the joint statement, the leaders agreed to review the delegation arrangements for the provision of air traffic services over Southern Peninsular Malaysia.

These were recommended and approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 1973 and implemented through the Operational Letter of Agreement between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Area Control Centres concerning Singapore Arrivals, Departures and Overflights 1974.

“This review shall be in accordance with ICAO’s requirements for safe and efficient air traffic management as well as accommodate both countries’ current and future operational needs,” said the statement.

Both leaders tasked the respective Transport Ministers to deliberate and agree on a set of principles and outcomes to guide both civil aviation authorities to move forward as expeditiously as possible.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia to reciprocate Singapore investment boost by resolving outstanding issues — PM

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz has signed a “side letter” to improve the provisions of the Malaysia-Singapore Business Development Fund (MSBDF) agreement for third countries.

Tengku Zafrul said the signing of the letter was done together with Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, witnessed by the Prime Ministers of both countries Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lee Hsien Loong.

“The MSBDF was signed in 2004 to strengthen cooperation between the private sector of Malaysia and Singapore by exploring business and investment opportunities in third countries.

“After almost 20 years since the signing of the agreement, during the First Annual Ministerial Dialogue (1st AMD) session held between Miti (Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry) and MTI (Ministry of Trade and Industry) Singapore on June 14, 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, I along with Gan Kim Yong agreed to expand the scope of the fund’s financing to include projects implemented in Malaysia and Singapore.

“This improvement will increase the potential of economic cooperation between the two countries, especially in promoting cross-border trade. In addition, it will also encourage the private sector from both countries to explore wider market opportunities in industries related to the digital economy and the green economy,” he said in a statement.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also exchanged between SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia and Singapore.

In a separate statement, SME Corp said this collaboration will encompass the exchange of policies, expertise and information, all directed toward enhancing the competitiveness of micro-enterprises and SMEs in both Singapore and Malaysia on a global scale.

“Additionally, it will encourage entrepreneurship development and promote reciprocal business exchanges between the two nations, underpinning a foundation of shared benefits and mutual reciprocity,” it said.

Meanwhile, a joint statement from both countries’ leaders said the update of the MSBDF will provide funding support for Singapore and Malaysia enterprises to jointly pursue opportunities in third countries and conduct joint pilots in each other’s country, especially in emerging areas such as green economy and digital economy.

“The leaders (also) took note of the MoU on Collaboration on Development of Malaysia and Singapore SMEs signed between Enterprise Singapore and SME Corporation Malaysia.

“The leaders also warmly welcomed the progress made on the MoU on personal data protection, cybersecurity and digital economy signed in January 2023. These instruments demonstrate the confidence of both countries in each other’s economy and the commitment to strengthening bilateral economic links,” the statement said. 

Source: Bernama

Tengku Zafrul: Malaysia, Singapore agree to expand financing scope of business development fund

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The recently approved RM11.3 billion investment in the manufacturing sector is testament to Sarawak’s attractiveness as one of Malaysia’s leading investment destination, says Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

The Sarawak government, he said, has adopted the business-friendly policy and is supportive of both foreign and domestic investments.

“We welcome investments and collaborations, particularly in six priority sectors promoted under the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, namely manufacturing, commercial agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, and services that can create mutual benefits for all.

“The state is now focusing on developing and promoting low carbon solutions, green and circular economy, to which we also aim to be a regional leader in innovation and high technology-based economy,” he said.

Awang Tengah said this in his opening remark at the JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration (Malaysia) Limited 20th anniversary celebration of the 1st Gas Helang Field, here Saturday.

The Minister for International Trade, Industry and Investment also stressed on human capital development as the driving force of the state’s next phase of economic development, to which he was pleased to note on the future collaboration between JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration (Malaysia) Limited with Sarawak Skills Centre on career and skills development programmes.

“As Sarawak moves towards its 2030 aspiration, I hope such initiatives will successfully contribute to its shift from a traditional commodity-based to a sustainable technology-based economy,” he added.

Awang Tengah, also Second Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development, said that the state government through Petroleum Sarawak (Petros) will continue to drive the development of oil and gas industries, as part of PCDS 2030.

“Petros is already participating in 17 blocks offshore Sarawak, and has started its drilling activities in Onshore SK433 and completed the subsurface studies in Limbang / Lawas area.

“Petros will continue to be actively involved in upstream projects, especially in rejuvenating onshore exploration and commercialisation.

“For the midstream and downstream projects, Sarawak is investing in its 10-year Sarawak Gas Roadmap, with four hubs namely in Bintulu, Samalaju, Miri and Kuching.”

He said from these four hubs, Petros will promote domestic gas utilisation across Sarawak by developing gas distribution infrastructure, promote petrochemical industries and provide sustainable, reliable and affordable energy to the household, commercial and industrial customers.

The four key projects are gas to power in Miri; gas to power in Samalaju; pipeline from Kidurong to Samalaju; and Kuching Gas Hub, he said, adding that the state is currently developing gas distribution systems via VPA and pipeline, Gas Power Plants and Petrochemical complexes.

“Currently under this roadmap, Petros is planning to complete Miri Combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) and Samalaju Pipeline by 2027.

“Next, Sarawak will be developing the Kuching Gas Hub to promote and accelerate the development of gas-based industry in Kuching,” he disclosed.

Thus, Awang Tengah said Petros, as the resource manager for carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) in Sarawak, welcomes international and regional investors including JX Nippon to connect directly with Petros to explore the opportunity.

Also present at the event were state Transport Minister Datuk Sri Lee Kim Shin; Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability Datuk Dr Hazland Abang Hipni; Deputy Minister in the Premier Office, Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring Datuk Gerawat Jala; and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Cooperation president Toshiya Nakahara, vice president Tetsuo Yamada, senior vice president Shinji Oka and managing director Katsunori Ozawa.

Source: Borneo Post

Business-friendly policies make Sarawak top investment destination, says Awang Tengah

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Malaysia is a primary focus for international businesses looking to expand their footprint in Asean, with one in four international firms planning to expand into the country over the next two years, according to a survey by HSBC.

The HSBC Global Connections survey also found that 27% of businesses which already have operations in Malaysia plan to prioritise growth over the same period, the banking group said in a statement on Monday.

“Malaysia’s skilled workforce, rising consumer prosperity, and its network of free trade agreements are tied as the primary attractions for international firms doing business in market, with 28% respectively selecting these features of the market as making it attractive in business expansion,” it said.

Meanwhile, staffing quality, financial stability — including currency volatility, inflation, and interest rates — and the challenge of adapting to fast-moving regulatory and policy changes top the list of challenges, all tied at 31%, for international businesses operating in Malaysia, HSBC said.

HSBC Malaysia head of commercial banking Karel Doshi said Malaysia is leading the way in the Asean region and international businesses are increasingly optimistic about their growth prospects in Malaysia.

“For businesses, expanding their operations to Malaysia can unlock some incredible growth opportunities, but it does come with some challenges. Therefore, it is important to find an experienced partner with deep knowledge both on international and local (levels) to help them overcome these challenges,” she said.

The statement said international connectivity remains a competitive advantage for the country and HSBC Malaysia continues to strengthen its position as the only international bank that offers a full suite of products and services to government, companies and retail customers, connecting them to international opportunities, and connecting international businesses to opportunities in Malaysia.

The top three attractions for Asean, HSBC said, are its skilled workforce (27%), growing digital economy (26%) and competitive wages (25%).

Amanda Murphy, HSBC head of commercial banking for South and Southeast Asia, said Southeast Asia is an attractive manufacturing base, with increasingly advanced supply chains and a highly skilled workforce attracting global firms to the region.

“But the consumer story is also one to watch for international businesses as digital adoption and domestic spending power grow,” she added. 

Source: Bernama

Malaysia a key focus for international firms eyeing expansion in Southeast Asia — HSBC

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can boost its intra-trade through collaborations in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He said that the EV industry provides member nations with opportunities to collaborate and participate in the EV supply chain ecosystem.

“ASEAN has a population of over 680 million, or approximately 8.5 per cent of the total global population.

“As the fifth largest economic bloc in the world with a combined gross domestic product of US$3.2 trillion, I believe Malaysia, along with ten other ASEAN member states and the organisation as a whole, can win this game,“ he said on Bernama TV today.

Investments in Malaysia’s EV industry have reached RM26.2 billion ringgit (US$5.4 billion) from 2018 to March 2023, and the number of registered EVs rose to more than 7,500 units as of September 2023 from over 3,400 last year.

According to reports, in 2019, ASEAN attracted US$2.1 billion worth of EV-related investments, and the amount rose to US$5.5 billion in 2020.

EV investment inflows in ASEAN then dropped to $2.7 billion in 2021 and in the following year, the amount of investments in Southeast Asia’s e-mobility sector increased to US$18.1 billion. 

Source: Bernama

Tengku Zafrul: ASEAN can expand intra trade via EV industry

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The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) expects foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan to exceed US$30 billion this year, buoyed by continuous support from the Japanese companies.

Its Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, said the private sector in both countries has expressed their confidence over business prospects this year, although the global trade environment is experiencing a slowdown.

“When we look at the local and global economy, we hope that the (Malaysia-Japan trade) growth will continue, but we still have to see (the progress because there is) too many uncertainties now in global trade.

Earlier in his speech, Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia truly values the close and robust economic linkages with Japan, which has been one of Malaysia’s important economic partners for the last couple of decades.

In fact, he said Japan has been Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner for eight successive years since 2015 and, in 2022, trade with Japan made up 6.4 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade at US$41.26 billion (RM181.73 billion) amid the backdrop of a challenging global environment.

He noted that, as of June 2023, a total of 2,778 projects by the Japanese companies were implemented in Malaysia, with investments amounting to US$27.25 billion (RM91.89 billion), creating a total of 337,758 job opportunities.

“It is encouraging to note the continuous appetite from Japanese investors towards Malaysia as we continue to welcome more and more FDIs from Japan,” he said.

At the event, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for joint crediting mechanism was signed between the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM).

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said the MoU is aimed at facilitating the small and medium enterprises and large entities from both countries to be more competitive at the global front, including providing market access to the respective destinations.

“Last year, we achieved about US$40 billion of trade (with Japan), but this year, we are hoping it to increase further by more than 10 to 20 per cent.

“With this MoU, we can have more direct business-to-business communications and more export from Malaysia, whilst at the same time Japan also can export to Malaysia,” he added.

Source: Bernama

FDI from Japan to exceed US$ 30 billion this year – Tengku Zafrul

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INVESTING in high-growth, high-value projects is the key to strengthening Johor’s economy, which in turn will transform Malaysia into an investment powerhouse, says an exco member.

Johor investment, trade, and consumer affairs committee chairman Lee Ting Han said the Federal Government’s decision to turn the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC) into a development hub for the chemical and petrochemical sector was a positive step.

“The trade war between the US and China has transformed and restructured our supply chain in the region. We can benefit from this.

“Budget 2024, combined with the New Industrial Master Plan 2030, will pave the way for more investment in the country, especially now that the government has introduced results-based incentives to encourage high-value investors to stay and make Malaysia their operation hub.


“The tax incentive package for PIPC in the form of a special tax rate or investment tax allowance will also help attract the related industries to Johor,” he said when contacted.

“The introduction of the Investment and Coordination Action Committee under the National Investment Council will also be helpful in cutting red tape.

“We hope that the state government will be involved in this, as the Federal Government and the state have different jurisdictions that can play a role in helping to realise future projects.”

He added that Johor would also benefit directly from the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) which involved sustainable development, electric vehicles and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).

“Johor has the advantage in terms of complete infrastructure to support a sustainable agenda and energy transition.

“This is why Tesla has chosen the state to become its second hub to build its supercharger facility after the Klang Valley,” said Lee.

He said the state could also generate low-carbon economies through solar and renewable energy development.

Another possible area of growth he highlighted was new technology using artificial intelligence, cloud computing, the Internet of Things and big data.

“We can conduct transactions and projects from afar due to digitalisation,” he added.

Budget 2024 also proposed a special income tax rate of between zero and 10% on film production companies, foreign film actors and movie crews working in Malaysia.

“This will help Iskandar Malaysia Studio, which has produced films such as Marco Polo, attract more international film projects,” said Lee.

Source: The Star

State to benefit from various high-value projects

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Investors from many European Union (EU) countries have shown interest in investing in Sarawak due to the state’s sustainable policies and initiatives, said the Premier of Sarawak Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg.

“They (investors) have met with me including the EU Ambassador (to Malaysia Michalis Rokas) who wants to learn from Sarawak… because he said our policies are environmentally friendly and unique in terms of sustainability,” he said when speaking at the dinner event held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Sarawak campus of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), here, tonight.

Abang Johari said Sarawak has expertise and unique approaches in its development efforts to strengthen the state’s economy.

He said a student exchange programme between Europe and Malaysia has also been proposed involving students at educational institutions in Sarawak to provide them the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in technologies that can benefit both parties.

Therefore, Abang Johari called on UiTM alumni who are experts in various fields to come together and provide input to the state government in efforts to develop Sarawak.

Source: Bernama

Premier: Investors from EU countries show interest in Sarawak

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The government will focus on developing infrastructure for transportation and logistics to suit current demands to attract more investors and tourists, besides boosting trade activities, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said an allocation of RM50 million is provided in the form of matching grants with the Port Klang Authority to maintain Jalan Pelabuhan Klang, besides enforcing the excess load limit on heavy vehicles.

Apart from that, RM20 million is allocated through matching grants with Port Authorities to upgrade the Malaysia Maritime Single Window system to bring together trade communities at ports via an integrated digital portal with various other government agencies.

Meanwhile, the proposal to develop a port on Carey Island would be realised through a Request for Proposal in further strengthening the role of Port Klang, said Anwar in his speech during the tabling of Budget 2024 in the Dewan Rakyat today. 

Source: Bernama

Transport, logistics infrastructure development to boost trade activities

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The government’s focus on reducing the fiscal deficit in Budget 2024 is aimed at boosting investor confidence and spurring economic growth, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said if the national deficit increased further, investors would not have confidence in the government leadership.

“If the deficit continues to swell, potential investors will have no confidence, (thinking) that the country is being governed by an irresponsible political leadership line-up or government administration,” he said during the monthly Finance Ministry assembly here today.

Referring to the philosophy of economist and philosopher Adam Smith, Anwar said the best way to manage the economy is like managing the economics of the family.

“Swelling debt that the children can’t afford to pay, means a failure in management. Debt that can be handled later, it is reasonable especially if the debt can bring growth,” he said.

Yesterday, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin was reported as saying in the Dewan Rakyat that the government is seen more interested in pursuing a lower fiscal deficit rate in Budget 2024 rather than preparing a budget that helps the people and stimulates economic growth.

On Friday last week, Anwar tabled the 2024 Budget themed “Economic Reforms, Empowering the People” with an allocation of RM393.8 billion, the highest budget ever tabled in the nation’s history.

In tabling the budget, the Prime Minister said the 2024 fiscal deficit is projected to decrease to 4.3 per cent compared to the target of 5.0 per cent this year and 5.6 per cent in 2022.

Anwar acknowledged that not all wishes submitted for Budget 2024 could be implemented, but said they would be considered for the next budget.

Source: Bernama

Focus on reducing fiscal deficit is aimed at boosting investor confidence – Anwar

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Malaysia’s close proximity to Hainan, China, opens up an opportunity to enhance mutual understanding and collaboration, maximising the country’s role as the gateway to Asean, said Deputy Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Liew Chin Tong.

Hainan, which is an island province of China and the nation’s southernmost point, is the closest location to Malaysia with less than five hours by flight. Hainan is also China’s largest free trade port.

“On the other hand, Malaysia holds a significant position within the entire Southeast Asian supply chain and can provide the necessary land, infrastructure, human resources, and policies. It’s a pivotal component of the supply chain and can support many industrial activities,” said Liew.

He made these remarks at the 13th Malaysia-China Entrepreneurs Conference 2023 held in Haikou, Hainan, yesterday (October 22), according to a statement issued by the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce.

Liew also said he looks forward to the continued deepening of the trade and investment ties with China.

At the conference, the deputy minister also shared the Madani Economy framework outlined by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, which aims to attract high value investments, domestic and foreign alike.

“We look to drive transfer of skills and knowledge, high-skilled employment, strong linkages with domestic small and medium enterprises, and more equitable distribution of wealth with the goal of building a stronger middle class society,” he explained.

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner since 2009, and just last year, the value of trade between Malaysia and China was about 17.1 per cent of Malaysia’s total global trade worth RM2.8 trillion.

Total trade between the countries last year was RM487.13 billion, an increase of 15.6 per cent compared to the previous year.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Malaysia-China comprehensive strategic partnership, and the two countries will also celebrating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year.

Source: Bernama

Liew: Malaysia’s close proximity to Hainan is a plus for enhancing collaboration

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The cooperation between Asean member countries and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will open more opportunities for bilateral trade and investment between the two blocs.

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said this will be through the existing expertise sharing and export network between Malaysian companies and GCC specifically in Saudi Arabia.

“Malaysian companies that will cooperate with local companies in Saudi Arabia can also export their expertise and capital to assist the investments in the kingdom.

“This shows that GCC and Asean will engage in two-way trade and investment, not just one-way,“ he told the Malaysian media after attending a meet and greet session with Malaysian diaspora in Saudi Arabia yesterday.

Tengku Zafrul also announced that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his working visit in conjunction with the Asean-GCC Summit will also have a meeting with the biggest player in the oil and gas industry in Saudi Arabia, namely Saudi Aramco, and Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, which are valued at almost US$1 trillion (US$1=RM4.77) to broaden the bilateral investments.

“Investments from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for example, has reached about US$6.6 billion, as announced by the prime minister who is also finance minister,“ said Tengku Zafrul.

In terms of investment, at present, the UAE is the largest investor in Malaysia from West Asia and is the second biggest among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries.

A total of RM6.19 billion investments comprising 44 manufacturing projects from the UAE were approved as of June 2023, with the potential to generate 4,534 job opportunities.

Asean is the fifth biggest economic bloc in the world with a population of 680 million and gross domestic product size of US$3.7 trillion. 

Source: Bernama

ASEAN-GCC cooperation to boost bilateral trade, investment – Tengku Zafrul

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Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are committed to establishing a new level of trade and investment relations through the formation of a high-level ministerial task force involving both parties.

This special committee will monitor the progress and prospects of cooperation, including private investments, public investment funds, and government-linked companies (GLCs) from both countries.

Announcing this development, Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI), Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, stated that it was one of the initiatives reached during a meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Saudi Arabian Minister of Trade, Dr Majid Abdullah Al-Kassabi, as well as the President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amir Hassan Nasser, held here yesterday.

Tengku Zafrul emphasised that the meeting clearly demonstrated the commitment of both parties to explore business, investment, and trade opportunities between Malaysian and Saudi Arabian companies.

“In the future, we want both parties to further strengthen their collective relations. So, we are confident this can be achieved, and for me, this relationship represents opening a ‘new chapter’ rather than exploring a new page. It is clear because all investments, for example, in the real estate sector, aviation, and information technology (IT), are now on the right track,” he said to the Malaysian media.

Saudi Arabia is Malaysia’s largest trading partner among West Asian countries, with the bilateral trade between the two nations in 2022 amounting to US$10.26 billion, a 159.2 percent increase from 2021.

One of Saudi Arabia’s major projects in Malaysia is the Pengerang Integrated Complex in Johor by Saudi Aramco. In the Fortune Global 500 rankings for 2021, Saudi Aramco was ranked sixth as the most profitable company in the world, with earnings of US$105 billion.

Regarding other projects involving Aramco in Malaysia, Tengku Zafrul said that they were nearing implementation.

However, he refrained from providing details and instead stated that the Prime Minister would announce them in the near future.

He also mentioned that the Saudi Arabian government welcomed the participation of Malaysian companies in line with the Gulf nation’s Vision 2030.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister also held a series of meetings and business briefings with industry leaders, including Al-Ajlan Brothers Holding Group (ABH), Dagang NeXchange Berhad (DNex), MGB Berhad, Sany Alameriah, Mobility One Sdn Bhd, and Al-Nesma Holding Co Ltd.

Anwar also received a courtesy visit from the Governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, Nasir Al-Rumayyan, and witnessed the signing of four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between Malaysian companies and Saudi Arabia.

These MoUs involved Westar Aviation with Mukamalah, DNex with Ajlan Brothers, Twistcode with Ajlan Brothers, and MGB with Sany Alameriah.

Source: NST

Malaysia and Saudi Arabia establish high-level task force for enhanced trade and investment relations

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SELANGOR is pulling out all the stops in showcasing the best the state has to offer investors.

To this end, the 7th Selangor Asean Business Conference (SABC 2023) and 7th Selangor International Business Summit (SIBC 2023) were held on Thursday.

The SABC 2023 saw leading economic thinkers and captains of industry from around the world coming together to discuss the opportunities in Asean and Selangor’s pivotal role as the most competitive gateway to Asean markets.

“With global giants like Nestle, IKEA, Airbus and Toyota calling Selangor home, we are a magnet for both domestic and foreign investments,” said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari in his keynote address at SABC 2023.

He believed that Selangor could develop its own tech companies and explore the fields of digital education, healthcare predictive analysis, renewable energy, fintech (financial technology)-as-a-service and efficient logistics.

“That is why Selangor is committed to hosting SABC. It is not limited to building connections. We see great opportunities to discuss ideas and develop strategies in these areas. Beyond just building connections and linkages, we want to increase collaboration within Asean.

“At SABC, we want to discuss strategies and ideas that can bring us closer and explore synergies,” Amirudin added.

With Selangor accounting for 25.5 per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP), the state was the ideal entry point into the Southeast Asian market, he added.

Meanwhile, SIBS, initiated by the Selangor government and organised by Invest Selangor, is a premier annual business event connecting brands and innovators to opportunities in Malaysia and the regional markets.

The four-day event, with 1,006 booths, is expected to yield substantial business transactions to the tune of RM1.5 billion and attract 50,000 visitors.

Amirudin said he hoped to see transactions achieved through the Selangor International Food and Beverage Expo, the Selangor International Medical Expo, the new Selangor Industrial Park Expo (SPARK) and the Selangor Research, Development, and Innovation Expo.

With a total of 328 trade buyers from 26 countries, in addition to trade visitors and other delegations, SIBS 2023 aims to further strengthen its international reputation as the premier regional event for businesses seeking to build and expand their presence in Southeast Asia, with Selangor as the gateway.

“We want high-quality investment in line with the current industries that we have identified, be it in public transportation or climate change solutions, higher quality manufacturing especially using automation, new fields in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals to prepare for the next endemic or pandemic.

“It is clear that the business of investment isn’t solely based on the past. That is why I made it crystal clear to my whole team in Selangor that while we have done well, we cannot take things for granted or be complacent by hoping that our past successes can guarantee success in the future,” he said at the SIB 2023 opening ceremony.

Amirudin said Invest Selangor would collaborate with the federal government to facilitate the construction of a third seaport on Carey Island, with the aim of bolstering cargo-handling capacity and boosting economic prospects.

Under the First Selangor Plan launched in August last year, three key areas for development were identified, he said.

In the south of Selangor, the Integrated Development Region in South Selangor offers more than 16,187ha for development through industrial parks.

In the north, the Sabak Bernam Development Area presents opportunities in eco-tourism, smart farming and logistics to enhance food security for Selangor and Malaysia.

Additionally, the Selangor Maritime Gateway Economic Development Zone along Sungai Klang taps the economic potential of Selangor’s primary river while harnessing it as a new water source.

Amirudin said the First Selangor Plan had sustainability as its core.

It emphasised the importance of addressing the threats of climate change while creating higher-paying jobs, he said.

“Selangor is the best place for you to put your money because we have the necessary ingredients to succeed as we truly believe no one should be left behind.

“I am confident that this summit will be an opportunity to discover new areas, whether in innovation or technology, and your investment will be instrumental for allowing our young people to have a brighter future,” Amirudin said.

Last year, Selangor achieved a an 11.9 per cent GDP growth to RM384.9 billion.

State Investment, Trade and Mobility executive councillor Ng Sze Han said there were boundless opportunities for mutual growth and shared success within Selangor and Asean.

“Together, we can chart a prosperous future, where innovation, collaboration, and determination pave the way for a brighter tomorrow,” he said in his speech.

Additionally, Invest Selangor has started a collaboration with other investment promotion agencies in Malaysia and other Asean countries to promote their industrial parks.

“This reaffirms SIBS as the only industrial park expo in this region,” said Ng.

Source: NST

Selangor woos investors

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The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) will continue to facilitate the entry of investments so that projects with high value potential can be realised.

Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said MITI through the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is always responsive in providing support to potential investors to ensure that approval of projects can be facilitated.

In addition, the Project Implementation and Facilitation Office (TRACK) at MIDA is also committed to ensuring that the project implementation process runs smoothly to contribute towards a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable Malaysia.

The government has also taken an approach in making administrative reforms through the establishment of the Investment and Trade Coordination Action Committee (JTPPP) under MITI which will ensure that foreign and domestic direct investments and trade can be realised as soon as possible.

“As Minister of MITI, JTPPP will be chaired by myself.

“This committee is also made up of representatives from the Finance Ministry, the Economy Ministry and MIDA as permanent members, while other relevant ministries and agencies including representatives of state governments will be invited as required,” he said in a reply published on the Parliament’s website on Thursday .

Tengku Zafrul said the progress status of investment projects signed during working visits abroad will be reported by JTPPP to the National Investment Council periodically, and to the mass media accordingly.

He explained that the trade and investment mission to China from March 29 to April 3, 2023 is estimated to achieve a potential investment amounting to RM170 billion.

Source: Bernama

MITI prioritises convenience and implementation of investments — Tengku Zafrul

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Malaysia’s southern state of Johor is intensifying efforts to improve the local market environment, making it more appealing to investors and boosting the region’s prowess.

An industry insider said this should open new doors in the country’s economic transition.

“Johor has announced several measures so far this year to optimise its business environment. This includes the revival of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail, the setting up of an international financial hub in Forest City, and the Johor-Singapore special economic zone (SEZ).

“Other game-changers include the RTS and the double-track electrified rail project, which is expected to be completed by 2025. All of these new developments are making Johor Bharu a popular investment destination,” said Sr. Samuel Tan, executive director at KGV International Property Consultants.

He told NST Property that, in addition to manufacturing, Johor should focus on services such as education, healthcare, information technology, finance, and logistics.

Looking to turn itself to Shenzhen, China’s so-called Silicon Valley, Johor plans to attract more foreign investment through the SEZ and seek a stronger footing in the push for the Greater Iskandar Malaysia region.

The Johor state government is confident that the SEZ and the Special Financial Zone (SFZ) will catalyse the state’s economic growth.

Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said in a Facebook post yesterday that the SFZ and SEZ could strengthen Johor’s position as Singapore’s most important strategic partner.

He disclosed that representatives from the Johor State Economic Planning Division, the Iskandar Regional Development Authority, and the Forest City Regional Management met at the Menteri Besar’s official residence to discuss the SFZ.

“There were several proposals by Forest City to create the best financial hub ecosystem, such as constructing a route from the LINKEDUA highway directly to Forest City and creating 10,000 new jobs within 10 years.

“Another proposal is to ease cross-border travel by creating multiple entry visas and a fast-track immigration clearance lane, as well as special tax and incentive packages,” he said.

Banking and finance, capital markets, financial and innovation technology, Islamic finance, property management, and insurance and risk management are among the six financial sector proposals being refined, according to him.

“I was also informed that several renowned hospitals, international schools, and higher education institutions have also expressed their interest in becoming part of the SFZ eco-system in Forest City.

“Hopefully, this economic spillover will benefit all Johorians and achieve Johor’s aspiration to become a developed state by 2030,” he said.

Onn Hafiz had previously said that Johor has the potential to flourish like Shenzhen if SEZ becomes a reality.

He said that in the four decades since it was made a special economic zone, Shenzhen has transformed from a small city with a population of about 300,000 people to a high-tech international metropolis with a population of over 17 million.

It took the once sleepy fishing village of Shenzhen just four decades to turn itself into a thriving technology hub, arguably eclipsing its neighbour, Hong Kong, in the process.

In those four decades, Shenzhen’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021 exceeded three trillion yuan (more than US$400 billion), while it has become the third largest city in China.

“What Shenzhen has achieved also proves that the Johor-Singapore SEZ can produce the best results for Johor,” he said.

Johor is one of the country’s most prosperous states

Deputy Finance Minister Steven Sim said in his speech during the launch of a pedestrian skybridge linking Coronation Square to the JB Sentral station in June that Johor is at the forefront of the country’s economy.

He said that through the Madani budget, the unity government has increased its allocation from year to year, with RM897.62 million in 2022 and an estimated RM914.03 million this year, with an addition of RM4.53 billion for development projects.

Sim said that in 2022, Johor ranked at the top among five states with the highest foreign direct investments, followed by Selangor (RM60.1 billion), Sarawak (RM28.2 billion), Kuala Lumpur (RM25 billion), and Penang (RM16.3 billion),” he said in his speech at the sky-bridge launch.

According to RHB Investment Bank Research (RHB IB), further catalytic developments in Johor Bahru may be focused on the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link area, as indicated by Johor executive council member for investment, trade, and consumer affairs Lee Ting Han.

“During our meeting, Lee indicated that the SEZ may involve a few specific sectors, and the finalisation of the terms of reference during the upcoming meeting at the end of this month by the two countries’s leaders should facilitate further talks on collaboration,” it noted.

RHB IB said Lee believes that Johor is a beneficiary of the US-China trade war, as he has received strong interest from multinational corporations since the borders reopened.

“The fast-lane service has eased the entry of corporations in the digital economy, pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronics, electronics manufacturing services, chemicals and petrochemicals, and aerospace sectors,” it said.

RHB IB has maintained an “overweight” call on the real estate sector, identifying UEM Sunrise Bhd and Sunway Bhd as the major players in the Johor market.

Source: NST

Johor ups its game to become the next Shenzhen in order to attract investors

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The government is in the process of streamlining the functions and roles of each of the country’s economic regions, as part of efforts to improve investment promotion activities and restructure investment promotion agencies (IPA).

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said in Parliament on Monday that there is a need to restructure the country’s IPAs and this begins with the streamlining of the economic regions, in relation to investments and trade.

“Mida (the Malaysian Investment Development Authority) as the main IPA will continue to promote the economic regions based on the strength of the industry ecosystem in each region, and we can study the strengths [of each state],” Zafrul told Dewan Rakyat.

“In Terengganu, it is petrochemicals; E&E in Penang; rubber products in Kedah; hydro-economy in Sarawak; resources-based activities in Sabah and so on,” he said, adding that each region and state will have its own investment targets.

He was responding to questions from Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias [BN-Jelebu] on how the ministry balances the amount of investments into the respective states.

Malaysia has five economic corridors, namely the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) comprising Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, and Johor; the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) made up by Perlis, Penang, Kedah and Perak; the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC); the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE); and Iskandar Malaysia in Johor.

Aside from Mida, Malaysia reportedly has 30 other IPAs, including federal location-based agencies such as InvestKL, federal sector-based agencies and state location agencies.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in July said that the Cabinet has approved all Malaysian IPAs to come under the purview of Miti and Mida, amid competition among agencies to secure investments.

Miti will come up with a plan for the streamlining of the IPAs, said Zafrul in July.

In the Budget 2024 tabling on Friday, Anwar said Miti and Mida have been tasked with easing the process of foreign and domestic direct investments (FDI and DDI), from the stages of application to the realisation of investments.

RM106b potential investments under negotiation 

Meanwhile, Zafrul in his reply to Jalaluddin’s question, said a total of 984 projects are currently at the negotiation stage under the supervision of Mida, with expected new investments totalling RM106.5 billion as at end-August.

This comprised expected FDI of RM89.5 billion and DDI of RM15.8 billion, he said.

“These investments comprise projects from the manufacturing sector with proposed investments of RM73.6 billion involving 53 proposed projects, as well as 931 project proposals in the services sector under Mida’s purview with expected investments of RM31.7 billion,” said Zafrul.

Malaysia saw RM132.6 billion of approved investments in 1H2023 involving 2,651 projects, of which FDI amounted to RM63.3 billion or 47.8%, while DDI amounted to RM69.3 billion or 52.2%.

In 2022, the approved investments amounted to RM267.8 billion across 4,517 projects, split between DDI (39%) and FDI (61%), Zafrul said. This is expected to create 140,440 employment opportunities in the country, he said.

Five main states with approved investments in 2022 were Johor, Selangor, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Zafrul said.

“Approved investments in the Klang Valley, which is Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, amounted to only 31.9%. This shows that the investments approved in Malaysia are not concentrated in the Klang Valley,” Zafrul said.

“As an example, Kedah and Perak received spillover economic benefits from the electrical and electronic (E&E) cluster in Bayan Lepas and Batu Kawan. This economic spillover will be able to create new industrial clusters or supporting industries such as high technology manufacturing, and research and development in the High-Tech Parks in Kulim and Perak, which can support the E&E cluster in Penang,” he added.

Source: The Edge Malaysia

Zafrul: Putrajaya streamlining functions of Malaysia’s economic regions to boost investment promotion efforts

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has assured that there will be no changes in the prices of products in the industry sector when the sales and service tax (SST) is raised next year, but added that the ministry will continue to monitor the impact of the implementation on the sector.

“For any form of fiscal policy involving tax, there will always be something that the companies would have to incorporate as part of their business plan going forward.

“Whatever impact there is, that is why the prime minister excluded F&B (food and beverages sector) and also included the logistics sector. For the other sectors, we will see and monitor what transpires and what is the result of this decision,” Tengku Zafrul told reporters at the sidelines of the Roundtable Dialogue discussing the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) hosted by the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF).

Tengku Zafrul said the government has a fiscal responsibility to increase its revenue, and that it is important for the industry to understand why Putrajaya is taking such a decision.

During the tabling of Budget 2024 last Friday, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the government is planning to raise SST to 8%, from 6% at present, as part of its efforts to increase revenue.

Aside from the higher rate, the scope of the SST will also be widened to include logistics services, brokerage and underwriting, as well as karaoke, while services like F&B and telecommunications are excluded.

On NIMP 2030, Tengku Zafrul said Miti is working to get as many local industries as possible to participate in the national strategic direction in order for the companies to reap the benefits of the spillover effects.

“[This is] because when we bring in big international companies, they always ask who are the local companies that can support them. So this is where local industries are important to bring in FDI (foreign direct investments) as well,” he said.

NIMP 2030 was launched by the prime minister on Sept 1 to provide a national strategic direction to lead the industrial development policies in Malaysia.

The master plan identifies six goals, namely, increase economic complexity, create high value job opportunities, extend domestic linkages, develop new and existing clusters, improve inclusivity and enhance ESG practices.

Overall, the government allocated RM200 million under Budget 2024 to achieve the goals of NIMP 2030.

Source: The Edge Malaysia

MITI to monitor impact of raised SST on Malaysian industries — Zafrul

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A total of 984 proposed projects, involving estimated investments of RM105.3 billion, were under negotiation supervised by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) as of August 31, 2023.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said foreign direct investments made up RM89.5 billion of the total while direct domestic investments comprised RM15.8 billion.

“They included 53 proposed manufacturing projects with investments worth RM73.6 billion and 931 proposed projects in the services sector involving RM31.7 billion in investments,” he said during the question-and-answer session in Parliament today.

He was replying to Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu) who asked about the investment forecast for 2024 and measures undertaken to distribute investments evenly across the states to avoid a concentration only in the Klang Valley.

Tengku Zafrul said that to reduce the investment gap among states, the New Investment Policy based on the National Investment Aspirations has outlined the importance of balanced regional development.

He pointed out that the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) has set a mission of safeguarding economic security and inclusivity (equitable participation in economic activities in all states).

According to the minister, the industrial clusters in the states will complement each other in terms of strengths and provide economic spillover benefits.

“As an example, Kedah and Perak can benefit from the economic spillover from the electrical and electronics (E&E) cluster in Bayan Lepas and Batu Kawan (in Penang).

“The economic spillover also will create new industrial clusters and supporting industries. For example, high-tech manufacturing and research activities in Kulim Hi-Tech Park (Kedah) and Perak can support the E&E cluster in Penang,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul said the government, through the National Investment Council, has agreed to review the investment promotion agency ecosystem starting with the phased streamlining of their roles and functions to ensure every state benefits from economic spillover.

He also said Mida will continue to support the promotion of corridors based on regional strengths and look at the needs of every state in line with the government’s aspiration of uplifting economic complexity. 

Source: NST

Tengku Zafrul says 984 proposed projects worth RM105.3b at negotiation stage

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Malaysia is expected to gain a total of RM105.3 billion worth of new investment following 984 projects in negotiations as of Aug 31 under the supervision of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Azizity said of the total, RM89.5 billion is made up of foreign direct investment (FDI) and RM15.8 billion of domestic direct investment (DDI).

“The investment total includes projects from the manufacturing sector with proposed investments of RM73.6 billion, involving 53 project proposals and 931 project proposals in the service sector with proposed investments of RM31.7 billion,” he said in Dewan Rakyat, today.

Tengku Zafrul said this in response to Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu) on the estimated amount of foreign investments in the country for 2024.

Tengku Zafrul said the top five investments approved in 2022 comprise Johor, Selangor, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur and Penang, adding that the approved investment in the Klang Valley only amounted to 31.9 per cent.

“This indicates that investments approved in Malaysia are not solely concentrated in the Klang Valley.

“The choice of investment location by investors is based on the business decisions of the investors and largely depends on the ecosystem and the strengths of each state’s industry clusters.”

At the same time, he added that to reduce the development gap between regions, the new investment policy based on the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) has also outlined the mission of safeguarding economic security and inclusivity.

This, he said, will allow the industrial clusters in each state to complement one another and could benefit the economic spillover of existing clusters.

“For example, this economic spillover can create new industry clusters and support other industries such as the high-tech manufacturing and research development activities in the Kulim Hi-Tech Park (in Kedah) and Perak, which can then support the electrical and electronics (E&E) cluster in Penang.”

Source: NST

Malaysia set to gain RM105.3b worth of new investments

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The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) is optimistic that 2024 will be a stronger year for foreign direct investments (FDIs) into Malaysia, leveraging what is seen in the pipeline.

Its Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said that as of the first six months of this year, Malaysia registered a total of RM132.6 billion investment, around 60 per cent of the nation’s investment target for this year, which is slightly above the target.

“The good news is that nearly half of it is actually domestic direct investment (DDI) and the balance is foreign direct investment (FDI). We hope that this momentum can continue,” he told reporters after the roundtable discussion on the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030), organised by MIDF today.

He said it is important to stress on DDI as there is positive correlation between FDI and DDI.

“The increases in FDI obviously positively correlate with increasing DDI because there will be spillovers.

“Looking closely at why we need to attract FDI, there are three main reasons and one of that is it creates jobs. So there will be important spillovers. Secondly, we want to ensure that it creates spillovers to our industries, whether it be the construction sector or the supply side.

“And the final one is also to ensure that we increase economic complexity as an exporting nation. Our trade to Gross Domestic Product last year was at 160 per cent,” he shared.

Tengku Zafrul said that in Budget 2024, RM200 million had been allocated for NIMP 2030 initiatives which cover various key sectors with the focus on four key missions.

One of the key missions is to advance economic complexity and among the focus will be to expand to high value-added activities of the value chain and to develop entire ecosystem to support the high value added activities.

“We need to build strong local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in manufacturing and related services to support the industry champions as well as to integrate value chains.

“So, for industries that are moving up the value chain, they would require support. They qualify for this kind of investment from the RM200 million budget allocation. But this is from the government’s side. There is also support from the private side, especially from both financial institutions and the capital market,” he noted.

Meanwhile, asked on the government’s decision to increase the sales and service tax (SST) from six per cent to eight per cent announced during the tabling of Budget 2024, he said it will not have much impact on industries but there is still the need to monitor on what transpires from the decision.

“Industries need to understand the needs of the government. As policymakers we would have looked at the pros and cons to strike the right balance.

“We have fiscal responsibilities, and are also accountable to parliament and to the people to achieve sustainable growth in the economy and be inclusive to all.

“So for industries, any form of fiscal policy tax will also be something that the companies will have to incorporate as part of the business plan going forward,” he added.

Source: Bernama

MITI optimistic 2024 will be a stronger year for FDIs into Malaysia

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Budget 2024 is a pro-growth budget that strikes a fine balance between ensuring sufficient support for the domestic economy amid continued external challenges, while staying committed to fiscal prudence and enhancing the people’s well-being, according to UOB Malaysia CEO Ng Wei Wei.

She said the measures announced such as the reinvestment incentives for high-value activities under the New Industrial Master Plan 2030, tax incentives for global services hub, expansion of green technology tax incentives and tax deductions for Voluntary Carbon Market will help strengthen the economy and pave the way for macro stability in the medium to long term.

“We welcome the measures to improve Malaysia’s competitiveness and ease the cost of doing business, which will spur high-impact investments in the targeted sectors. These will help elevate foreign direct investments (FDI), broaden domestic linkages, spur industrial development and reinforce Malaysia’s diversified economic structure. As a regional bank with a strong presence in Asean, UOB will continue to leverage our connectivity to facilitate more FDI to support Malaysia’s economic growth,” said Ng.

As a key proponent of the sustainability agenda, she added, they are heartened by the measures announced in Budget 2024 which reinforce the government’s strong commitment to net zero. The RM2 billion funds under the Dana Mudah Cara Peralihan Tenaga Negara, additional tax cuts of up to RM300,000 for Measurement, Reporting and Verification expenses relating to the development of carbon projects are positive moves to build a green economy for a sustainable future.

Further efforts to boost development of electric vehicles and installation of solar panels in the budget is also in line with UOB’s focus to encourage low-carbon lifestyles, she added.

Source: The Sun Daily

UOB Malaysia lauds measures to boost competitiveness, cut cost of doing business

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