Chief executive officer Ramli Mohd Ali said the state government was now working to close about RM2 billion to RM3 billion worth of investments in the pipeline.
“Most of them are from existing foreign companies in Melaka in the electronics and electrical (E&E) sector, which seek to expand their operations,” he told Bernama following a virtual briefing session by Invest Melaka under the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Invest Series themed “Unfolding States’ Business Potential”.
He said the state was expecting some challenges in achieving the investment target due to limited communication and the difficulties to meet potential investors following the restrictions implemented to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ramli said Melaka had many attractive propositions to investors including its strategic location between two major airports -- Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Senai International Airport -- and near major seaports in Klang, Tanjung Pelepas and Singapore.
He said the state also offered a low cost of doing business with cheap industrial land, competitive utility rates, competitive salaries for workers and a pro-business government.
MIDA deputy chief executive officer Ahmad Khairuddin Abdul Rahim, in his keynote speech at the event, said Malaysia continued to be a preferred investment destination despite the challenging global economic environment and Melaka had been one of the recipients of these investments.
He said Melaka attracted a total of 11 manufacturing projects worth RM258 million for the first quarter of this year with domestic investments contributing 86.4 per cent of the total investments.
“As at December 2019, there were 905 manufacturing projects implemented in Melaka with total investments of RM44.23 billion,” he said.
Ahmad Khairuddin said a majority of these investments were from foreign sources recording a total of RM27.08 billion or 61 per cent while the rest were from domestic sources.
“These projects had created over 109,379 job opportunities, mainly in E&E products, transport equipment, and petroleum products,” he said.
Ahmad Khairuddin said the COVID-19 pandemic had compelled both global and local companies to prioritise not only operational efficiency but also to build their organisations’ resilience to face unprecedented challenges.
“The new normal presents us with opportunities to find innovative ways to accelerate progress by leveraging effective digital technologies.
“In every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. The pandemic and trade war, while being disruptive, has compelled global companies to relocate or redeploy their operations,” he said.
Given these rising opportunities, Malaysia was well-positioned as a prominent global supply chain hub due to the country’s strategic location and efficient trade infrastructure, he said.
“Malaysia is still a resilient nation, thanks to our sound economic fundamentals and capabilities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Khairuddin said the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) positive outlook for Malaysia, in light of the pandemic, showed that the country had the right mix of ingredients as a profitable destination for new companies to grow in the region.
“There is also much more room for expansion or diversification for existing companies in Malaysia, particularly in new growth areas.
“We strongly encourage local industry players to leverage on all programmes and facilities provided by the government and to strike while the iron is hot,” he added.
The World Bank has forecast Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product growth to resume in 2021 at 6.9 per cent as the outbreak eases while the IMF projected Malaysia's GDP to grow by 6.3 per cent next year.