GEORGE TOWN, Oct 1 — Penang recorded RM9.12 billion in total investments during the first half of 2020, Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow announced today.
The Penang lawmaker said out of the total investments, foreign direct investments (FDI) for the first half of this year amounted to RM8.42 billion, about 50 per cent of the total national FDI of RM17.8 billion.
He said Penang topped the list for FDI and is second highest for total investments after only Sabah, which recorded investments of RM11.72 billion.
“We are happy with the performance but we also hope that the travel restrictions will be lifted soon so that we can conduct trade and investment missions,” he said at a press conference at his office today.
He also said Penang ranked first for FDI last year after recording RM15 billion out of RM16.85 billion in total investments.
“We recorded very high investments last year and it is hard to repeat the same performance this year, so 2020’s total investments may not match 2019’s figures,” he said.
However, Chow said despite the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, the total investment of RM9.2 billion was still impressive.
He said Penang successfully garnered 29 projects with an investment inflow of RM2.02 billion in the manufacturing sector for the second quarter of this year.
“These projects, together with the approved projects in the previous quarter, are expected to generate 6,971 new job opportunities in the state,” he said.
Chow said the state recorded FDI amounting to RM1.65 billion for the second quarter of this year while the balance of RM373 million consisted of domestic direct investments.
He said the top countries contributing to the FDI in Penang were Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.
The approved manufacturing investments were mainly in Penang’s main industries, electronics and electrical, machinery and equipment and scientific and measuring equipment.
With the manufacturing investment approvals, Chow said InvestPenang and Penang Development Corporation (PDC) will continue to provide close assistance to smoothen on-the-ground project implementations.
InvestPenang Chief Executive Officer Loo Lee Lian said almost 85 per cent of the investment projects are already being implemented.
“Most of them have found sites, are buying brown field buildings and lands, and in the midst of implementation,” she said.
She added that most have started implementation works and only one or two have not started physically but plans are well underway.