Mida says Malaysia’s investments fell 22.4pc to RM164b last year amid pandemic

Jerry Choong
·2-min read
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority said the RM164 billion involved 4,599 projects, which were expected to create approximately 114,673 job opportunities in the country. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority said the RM164 billion involved 4,599 projects, which were expected to create approximately 114,673 job opportunities in the country. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Approved total domestic and foreign investments for Malaysia stood at RM164 billion for 2020, a drop from the previous year as opportunities took a hit due to Covid-19.

In its Investment Performance Report 2020 released today, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) said the RM164 billion involved 4,599 projects, which were expected to create approximately 114,673 job opportunities in the country.

In comparison, 5,287 projects involving RM211.4 billion were approved in 2019, a decline by RM47.4 billion or 22.4 per cent for 2020.

This drop has been attributed to the impact faced by the services and primary sectors, which were directly affected by a decline in global demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the movement control order (MCO) which was first implemented in March last year.

The RM164 billion in approved investments include RM64.2 billion in foreign direct investment or 39.1 per cent of the total, while domestic direct investments account for RM99.8 billion or 60.9 per cent of the total.

The most heavily-affected sector in the country has been services. Mida said Covid-19 related restrictions impacted face-to-face interactions, which the sector relies upon.

The report indicated the services sector saw approved investments totalling RM66.7 billion, a drop of 45 per cent in 2020 compared to the RM121.7 billion in approved investments for 2019.

Nonetheless, last year saw a total of 3,527 projects approved in the services sector, with 33,652 potential jobs opportunities.

For the services sector, the bulk of the investments were in real estate at RM31.2 billion, followed by utilities at RM10.8 billion, support services at RM5.2 billion, telecommunications at RM5.2 billion and Multimedia Super Corridor-status sub-sectors at RM3.9 billion.

Collectively these investments represented 84.4 per cent of approved investments in the services sector.

Of the services sector’s RM66.7 billion, RM60.2 billion or 90.3 per cent are from domestic sources while the remaining RM6.5 billion or 9.7 per cent are from foreign investments. Much of the approved domestic investments is concentrated in the areas of real estate, utilities, and telecommunications.

Mida’s report also listed the main countries for approved foreign direct investments in Malaysia for the manufacturing, services and primary sectors in 2020.

China takes the lead with RM18.1 billion, followed by Singapore with RM10 billion, the Netherlands with RM7 billion, the British Virgin Islands with RM5.5 billion, and the United States with RM4.3 billion.

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