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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                        30  August 2011

Malaysia FDI surges

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Foreign direct investments (FDIs) surged to RM21.3 billion (US$7.2 billion) in the first six months of the year in Malaysia compared with RM12.1bil a year earlier.

FDI stood at RM29.3bil for the whole of 2010 and RM5bil in the preceding year. “Based on the latest development, I am confident that the total FDI inflow for 2011 will exceed the amount achieved last year,” International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said in a statement yesterday.

He said the higher FDI inflow in the first half of 2011 reflected the growing investor confidence following the government's initiatives to stimulate economic growth. The introduction of several initiatives such as the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme has helped improve the overall business environment.

“The strong recovery in FDI inflows will ensure realisation of the projected RM83bil in private investment this year,” Mustapa said.

Meanwhile, a total of 514 manufacturing projects with investments worth RM31.7bil were approved from January to July this year. Of the amount, RM15.9bil (50.2 percent) were domestic investments and RM15.8bil (49.8 percent) foreign investments.

In 2010, a total of 910 projects were approved with investments worth RM47.2bil. In July this year, a total of 61 manufacturing projects with investments worth RM4.3bil were approved. Of the total investments, RM2.4bil (55.8%) were domestic investments and RM1.9bil (44.2%) were foreign investments.

The approved foreign investments are primarily in the electrical and electronics industry, accounting for RM7.2bil; metal-based products (RM2.4bil); food processing (RM1.8bil); chemical and chemical products (RM1bil); transportation related equipment (RM902.4mil); petroleum products, including petrochemical (RM520.8mil) and fabricated metal products (RM520.7mil).

According to the ministry, the main investing countries are Japan (RM2.4bil), the United States (RM2.3bil), Singapore (RM1.9bil), the Netherlands (RM1.2bil) and Taiwan (RM1.2bil).


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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