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NEWS UPDATES 14 August 2010

Malaysia upbeat on economy

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Malaysia is sure that manufacturing sector investments will grow by more than 20 percent RM40 billion this year, based on what has been secured to date and the trade ministry's aggressive efforts.

The country received RM32.6 billion local and foreign investments in manufacturing in crisis-hit 2009.

More than half of the RM13.2 billion, or 56.8 percent, comprised foreign direct investment (FDI).

Singapore topped the list with RM2.9 billion, followed by Japan (RM722.6 million) and Switzerland (RM537.8 million).

The figures for services investments in the first half of the year will be available only next month, Mustapa said. The ministry collects such data from Petroliam Nasional Bhd, Multimedia Development Corp, the various economic corridors, and from Bank Negara Malaysia.

In the first three months of the year, the services sector attracted investments of RM9.5 billion from 793 projects.

Last year, services investments amounted to RM36.3 billion from 2,720 approved projects.

Mustapa was bullish about attracting more investments from the Asean region, China, India, South Korea and the Middle East.

The minister, who was recently in South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia, said that foreign investors, especially those from South Korea, were keen to increase their presence in the country.

Malaysia's foreign trade and investment offices have been told to step up their engagements with the parent bodies of foreign investment companies.

"We're adopting various approaches to increase the FDI inflow - engaging with existing investors as well as getting new players in high-tech, ICT (information and communications technology) and creative industries, which are the new areas we need to scout for," Mustapa said.

The ministry is also closely engaging with foreign business councils, which represent no fewer than 5,000 companies in the country, and local businesses which have a presence abroad.

It will go on a roadshow in the US later this year to attract more investment.

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