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Amirudin: Challenging year to woo foreign investors for Selangor

Amirudin: Challenging year to woo foreign investors for Selangor

04 Mar 2021

ISB will study data provided by MIDA and explore the potential of Selangor’s investment both from FDI and DDI

The Selangor government will continue to retain a cautious attitude despite chalking the highest foreign direct investment (FDI) of RM38.7 billion for 2020 amid restrictions and limitations caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the record high, which is mainly contributed by the services sector, was driven by the state’s efforts in wooing investors for the last four years prior to the outbreak.

“We were stuck for about seven months last year compared to 2019 when we managed to operate in full capacity to attract investors especially from overseas.

“Some of the collaboration was nearly sealed but it was halted due to Covid-19.

“We foresee a challenging 2021 as big investments need time to realise,” Amirudin said in a press conference after visiting the new Smart Selangor Operation Centre (SSOC) in Shah Alam yesterday.

On Tuesday, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) stated that RM164 billion worth of investments has been approved in Malaysia, lower than the RM211.4 billion recorded in 2019 due to the implementation of various Movement Control Orders.

Of the total, Selangor recorded RM38.7 billion worth of investments last year, RM18.4 billion was contributed by the manufacturing sector, while the remaining were by services sectors.

One of the major projects is by China’s Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd, which will develop its plant in Banting, with a total investment value of RM4.2 billion.

Amirudin said the arrangement for Hong Kong-listed firms to establish their footing in Selangor has been ongoing since the last four years.

In a statement on Tuesday, Nine Dragon Paper said the plant will focus on test liner, kraft liner, corrugated medium paper, and paper and pulp. The project is expected to be in operation by 2022.

“The construction is expected to kick off by May or June this year,” Amirudin said.

He said the state investment arm, Invest Selangor Bhd (ISB), will also study data provided by Mida and further explore the potential of Selangor’s investment both from FDI and domestic direct investment (DDI).

According to Mida, DDI accounted for the bulk of the total approved investments in the country accounting for 60.9% (RM99.8 billion), while FDI made up the remaining RM64.2 billion (39.1%).

The manufacturing sector recorded the highest amount of investments, in which China was the top foreign investor last year at RM18.1 billion, followed by Singapore (RM10 billion) and the Netherlands (RM7 billion).

Mida also said it had RM65.9 billion worth of potential investments being actively evaluated as at December 2020 and once approved, these projects are expected to be implemented in 2021-22.

Amirudin said Selangor is expected to publish more information gathered at the state data centre in Shah Alam for the public use.

The SSOC, which commenced operation early this year, is compiling real data related to security, waste management, public transportation, road congestion and disaster alerts on a daily basis administered by state officials.

However, as of now, the public only has access to some of the real time data gathered in the system such as the location of public busses.

The centre, which Amirudin described as the “brain” of the state, costs RM6 million to develop and is run by the Selangor State Delivery Unit (SSDU), and is part of the state government’s plan to be a regional smart state by 2025.

SSDU MD Dr Fahmi Ngah said currently only four local councils have their systems connected to SSOC.

“The system infrastructure needs stable connection with large bandwidth, so we had to request a service provider to provide us with an Internet speed of 3Gbps and so far, only four councils have embarked on this.

“This year, we aim to have 12 agencies like district offices and other local councils to be part of this initiative,” Fahmi said.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve