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06 Oct 2021

Azmin: RM82bil invested in manufacturing sector this year

Up to August this year, Malaysia has approved Rm81.9bil worth of investments in the manufacturing sector, says Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The Senior Minister (International Trade and Industry) said the sum was an increase of 32.7% compared to the same period last year.

At the same time, Azmin said Malaysia recorded a total of Rm107.5bil in investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors from January to June this year, involving 2,110 projects that were expected to create 44,994 job opportunities.

“The approved foreign direct investments for January to June surged by 214.9% to Rm62.5bil, compared to the same period last year, which is Rm19.8bil.

“The value of investment in Sabah is Rm4.5bil, while Sarawak recorded an investment value of Rm1.5bil,” he said in his winding-up speech on the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

Azmin said the 12MP emphasised efforts to strengthen economic fundamentals by practising an open, transparent, consistent and business-friendly investment policy.

“Factors affecting investments are not only confined to fiscal incentives but also cover regulatory framework such as licensing and business facilitation,” he said.

The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021 published last June placed Malaysia in the 25th spot among 64 economies in the world.

Azmin said this was an improvement from the 27th spot last year.

“The elevation of two spots is due to the increase in the Business Efficiency and International Investments indicators,” he said.

Azmin added that among efforts to ensure business efficiency was the Express Construction Permit (E10) initiative by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation.

The senior minister said the E10 initiative would shorten the procedure taken to issue approvals for operations permits and the setting up of new factories.

“For example, a factory in Kulim with an investment of Rm280mil was able to be completed and begin operations in 10 months compared to 24 months in the past,” he said.

A total of three factories with an investment value of Rm14.3bil are currently using the E10 initiative.

“This initiative has saved Rm9mil in compliance costs for each factory, improving revenue generation among business owners, creating new job opportunities for locals and supporting the growth of the local economy.

“This initiative will be expanded to other states, including Sabah and Sarawak, as a strategy to stimulate productivity and attract domestic and foreign investments,” he added.

On another matter, he said more incentives would be introduced by the government as part of its plans to encourage Malaysians to make the switch to electric vehicles (EV).

These include road tax exemptions, incentives for EV buyers via income tax returns and income tax relief for the installation of EV facilities.

Malaysia is currently using the “compare and offer” approach by implementing clear and consistent policies which cover the entire supply chain of the EV industry, aside from encouraging the use of EV vehicles in the country.

“In comparison, regional competitors focus on incentives to OEMS (original equipment manufacturers),” he said.

Azmin also said the national automotive policy had outlined specific initiatives to strengthen the local EV ecosystems such as critical components manufacturers, standard setting and encouraging RDCI (research, development, commercialisation and innovation).

He said efforts to encourage the use of EV vehicles among Malaysians were also in line with the government’s efforts to attract high-value investments.

So far, the government had attracted Rm4.3bil worth of investments from South Korea-based SK Nexillis to set up a facility at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park to manufacture electro-deposited copper foil for EV batteries.

“The SK Nexillis investment is the first outside of South Korea and this proves the confidence of foreign investors towards Malaysia as a top investment destination in the EV industry,” Azmin said.

“All these efforts will contribute towards the target of becoming a carbon-neutral country by 2050 at the earliest.”

Source: The Star