September 27, 2023

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Unlocking Opportunities: Malaysia’s Thriving Investment Landscape

Malaysia remains an attractive investment destination, as it attracted a significant amount of RM71.4 billion in approved investments during the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023), indicating that Malaysia continues to be favoured by investors and highlights its value as a preferred investment location.

A total of 1,265 projects were approved during this period, and it is expected that these projects will create 23,977 new job opportunities across various sectors such as manufacturing, services, and primary industries.

Malaysia’s investment landscape attracts more foreign direct investments (FDI) than domestic direct investments (DDI). FDI contributed RM37.5 billion, accounting for 52.5% of the total approved investments. DDI accounted for RM33.9 billion, making up 47.5% of the total approved investments. This reflects the renewed confidence of domestic investors in Malaysia’s economic progress and prospects.

During the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023), the services sector in Malaysia outperformed all other sectors in terms of approved investments. It recorded an impressive amount of RM53.6 billion, accounting for 75.1% of the total approved investments. This represents a year-on-year growth of 226.8% compared to the figure of RM16.4 billion in Q1 2022. The RM53.6 billion investment is associated with 1,058 approved projects, expected to create 12,051 new job opportunities.

Within the services sector, the information and communications sub-sector stood out prominently, attracting approved investments valued at RM24.9 billion, representing a significant share of 46.5%. The real estate sub-sector followed closely, securing RM15.5 billion (28.9%), while distributive trade accounted for RM6.7 billion (12.5%). Financial services received RM2.2 billion (4.1%), and support services attracted RM1.8 billion (3.4%) in approved investments. These figures highlight the strength and attractiveness of the services sector in Malaysia’s investment landscape.

The Malaysian government’s focus on green investment has been evident through the approval of several projects in the field of green technology and renewable energy initiatives. These projects demonstrate the commitment to sustainability and highlight the diverse and promising opportunities within the services sector.

By supporting and promoting green technology, Malaysia is positioning itself as a hub for sustainable development and attracting investments in renewable energy. This emphasis on green investment aligns with global efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy and addresses environmental challenges such as climate change.

During the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023), Malaysia continued to attract a substantial level of investments in the manufacturing sector. The approved investments in this sector amounted to RM15.6 billion, which accounted for 21.8% of the total approved investments during the period.

The commitment to the manufacturing sector was demonstrated through the approval of 192 manufacturing projects, which are expected to create over 11,900 new job opportunities. These projects signify Malaysia’s dedication to fostering industrial growth and expanding employment prospects.

Within the manufacturing sector, a significant portion of the approved investments was allocated to key industries. The transport equipment industry took the lead with RM4.4 billion (28.2%), followed by machinery and equipment with RM2.6 billion (16.6%). Basic metal products accounted for RM2.3 billion (14.7%), while electrical and electronics (E&E) received RM2.1 billion (13.2%). Non-metallic mineral products attracted RM1.6 billion (10.3%). Collectively, these industries contributed to 83.1% of the total approved investments in the manufacturing sector.

The manufacturing sector in Malaysia secured approval for several innovative, high value-added and high-technology projects. This showcases the serious intent of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to use investments to drive technological advancement, redefine industry standards, and sustainably fuel future economic growth.

By encouraging investments in advanced manufacturing and promoting technology-driven projects, Malaysia aims to enhance its industrial capabilities, elevate its competitive position, and support long-term economic development.

Malaysia’s commitment to technological advancement in the manufacturing sector underscores its goal of attracting global investments and fostering innovation. By embracing cutting-edge technologies, Malaysia positions itself as a hub for high-value, high-tech ventures with immense growth potential.

This focus drives economic diversification, enhances productivity, and promotes competitiveness. By creating an ecosystem conducive to innovation, Malaysia aims to attract both foreign and domestic investments, drive economic growth, and establish itself as a leader in high-tech manufacturing.

In Q1 2023, Malaysia’s primary sector attracted investments worth RM2.2 billion. Although the amount is relatively modest, these investments have the potential to bring positive economic impact. In the Mining Sub-sector, RM2.1 billion was approved for mining projects, showcasing Malaysia’s ability to extract and use valuable minerals from its resource-rich landscape. Meanwhile, the plantation and commodities sub-sector received investments of RM65.1 million, reflecting efforts to improve productivity and sustainability in agricultural practices.

While the contribution of the primary sector may be smaller compared to services and manufacturing, these investments lay the foundation for future growth and innovation.

Malaysia’s investment landscape presents bright prospects with a pipeline of proposed investments and lead projects overseen by MIDA. The pipeline includes 878 projects amounting to RM35.9 billion, while lead projects are valued at RM150.4 billion.

The manufacturing sector dominates with 78.8% (RM28.3 billion) of the pipeline projects, while the services sector accounts for 21.2% (RM7.6 billion), showcasing a diverse investment portfolio. These figures reflect confidence in Malaysia’s potential and highlight ongoing interest from businesses and investors.


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