InvestPenang director Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon, who is also the special investment advisor to Penang Chief Minister, said the total investment for January until September 2019 was RM13.3 billion.
The total investment for 2018 was only RM5.8 billion.
Despite showing promising signs of the total investment recorded last year compared to the year before, Lee said the investment momentum for 2020 could be at a slower pace.
"2019's approved investment was extraordinarily high, hence we expect the figure to be lower this year. We are targeting total investment for 2020 at only RM5 billion,” he told reporters here today.
Lee said the significant amount of approved manufacturing investment last year should start to bear fruit from this year onwards.
Meanwhile, he said the urgency for companies to relocate their operations may slow down in the near term due to the United States-China Phase 1 trade deal that concluded recently.
Another reason why he predicted a lower investment was due to the talent shortage made available in the country for the companies to invest in.
He gave an example of Malaysia producing 50,000 engineers in the country but stressed that not all would be involved in the manufacturing industry.
"We must ride on our advantages and also act on our shortcomings. The talent shortage should not be neglected if Malaysia wants to remain relevant in the technology sector,” he added.
Lee said the growth-oriented 2020 Budget had strategically layout a series of initiatives that could aid in attracting investments from targeted industries and investors.
As for Penang specifically, he said the state government would continue to focus on capital-intensive, high-quality and knowledge-based investment and deepening the value chain and capability building of the key promoted sectors.
The state government's initiative of having constant engagement with existing companies having operations in Penang would equally focus on both reinvestment and new investments, he added.