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Azmin: Economy and trade set for strong growth

Azmin: Economy and trade set for strong growth

09 Mar 2022

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) has attracted a total of RM306.5bil in approved investments for the manufacturing, services and primary sectors last year – the highest since 2006.

The amount was a 83% jump in 2021 from the RM167.4bil recorded in 2020.

It said the manufacturing sector continued to attract the highest approved investments in 2021 with a total of RM195.1bil for 702 projects.

The electrical and electronics (E&E) sector received the highest approved investments worth RM148bil. In terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), Malaysia attracted RM208.6bil FDI in 2021 – more than tripled from RM64.2bil in 2020.

However, the domestic direct investment fell 5% to RM97.9bil in 2021 compared with RM103.2bil a year earlier.

Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali admitted that this year would be challenging for Mida to attract the same FDI growth that it had achieved in 2021.

Although the war in the Ukraine had added uncertainty to the global market, Azmin is confident that the Malaysian economy will continue its growth trajectory led by the reopening of its borders.

“The reopening of our borders will have a positive impact on our trade and boost the local economy.

“As other economies open up, we foresee that local companies will need to increase their capacity and productivity to cope with the increasing demand,” he told reporters after announcing Malaysia’s investment performance in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors in 2021 at the Mida office here yesterday.

While the achievements have placed Malaysia on the right track, he said it would be naive to assume that the journey ahead would be plain sailing.

“As a trading nation, we continue to be impacted by the dynamics of geopolitical and geoeconomic factors, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Hence, it stands to reason to expect a wide spectrum of uncertainties and potential headwinds coming our way, with the global supply chain disruptions, spikes in commodity prices as well as inflation,” he said.

Nonetheless, he expected that the impact would be mitigated by the various initiatives, especially the upcoming Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that aims to boost competitiveness among the local companies and harness growth moving forward.

In addition, he said the National Investment Aspirations is poised to attract high impact investments in new growth areas that would have a spillover effect on the economy.

Asked about the benefits of Malaysia signing various trade agreements, Azmin said his ministry would be tabling the cost-benefit analysis for the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Cabinet soon.

Moving forward, Azmin said future investments would be focused on five key sectors, namely E&E, pharmaceutical, chemicals, aerospace and digital.

“It is especially so in automotive, aerospace and other sectors as Malaysia’s semiconductor industry is one of the most important globally. This will further propel the country’s economic growth and assist Malaysia in developing further. We would be able to attract more quality investments into the country as we already have the talents,” he added.

Mida chief executive officer Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman said the agency would continue to embark on trade and investment missions and specific project missions to keep up with the momentum.

“To ensure that Malaysia remains an attractive investment destination, the government has rolled out strategic frameworks that prioritise new areas with potential growth opportunities that focus on sustainability and new technologies to strengthen our economy,” he said.

Source: The Star

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