Minister: Malaysia to benefit from higher demand for semiconductors, tourism in 2024
11 Jan 2024
Malaysia’s economy is expected to benefit from the semiconductor exports, lifted by the global technology upcycle, as well as strong momentum in the tourism sector in 2024, said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
He noted that the country is cautiously optimistic this year, backed by stronger macroeconomic numbers in 2023, including an expected growth of four per cent as well as lower inflation and unemployment rates, and an improving ringgit outlook.
“Also, challenges notwithstanding, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) and its agencies managed to deliver many key achievements. To cite just one example, in 2023 we were able to secure almost US$76 billion (RM354 billion) in committed foreign direct investments (FDIs),” he said in his speech at the S Rajaratnam Endowment Dialogue held in Singapore.
He said combined with the return to political stability post the 2022 general election, Malaysia has its clearest economic direction now as outlined by the Madani Economy agenda, underpinned by policies such as the New Industrial Masterplan (NIMP) 2030, National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), Chemical Industry Roadmap (CIR) and the National Industry ESG Framework (i-ESG).
He said MITI’s focus for 2024 will be industrial and investment reforms outlined by the NIMP 2030.
“My ministry leads on this, but its implementation involves other ministries, such as the Energy Transition and Public Utilities Ministry, Transport Ministry, Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and Higher Education Ministry, to name a few.
“The stability has allowed us to move the reform agenda forward quickly in the past one year,” he said.
He noted that the NIMP plays a huge role in Malaysia’s second industrial and economic take-off and Malaysia must get it right.
“Indeed, reindustrialisation is a strategic imperative for our economic future,” he said.
He also said Malaysia must quickly elevate as many mid-tier companies into global supply chains as possible and ramp up the smart-factory set up under NIMP in order to be known to global investors as the destination for high-end manufacturing.
On green industry, Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia, in playing its role to mitigate climate change, has begun implementing its i-ESG to get the industries up to speed on sustainability disclosures.
“Otherwise, Malaysian manufacturers and exporters risk being shut out of major ESG-sensitive markets. On the flip side, there are also US$12 trillion worth of opportunities in the global ESG-focused market for our industries to capture,” he added.