Stats Dept: Foreign-controlled firms contributed RM241b to Malaysia’s GDP in 2020

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Foreign affiliates employed a total of 859,541 people in 2020, and compensated them with some RM48.7 billion in that year. — Reuters pic
Foreign affiliates employed a total of 859,541 people in 2020, and compensated them with some RM48.7 billion in that year. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Companies under foreign control in Malaysia contributed RM241 billion to the Malaysian economy last year, amounting to 17 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

In its “Statistics on Foreign Affiliates in Malaysia 2020” report that was released today, DoSM stated that 2020’s figures were RM8.2 billion lower compared to 2019.

DoSM refers to “foreign affiliates” as companies operating in Malaysia that are controlled by foreign investors — who hold more than 50 per cent of stake in the company — and can include branches, subsidiaries or joint venture companies.

Despite the fall in value generated by the foreign affiliates, DoSM said they performed well in 2020, taking into account the “uncertain economic situation” in the country.

To note, in 2019, foreign affiliates contributed RM259.2 to the economy, which amounted to 17.4 per cent of the economy at that time — meaning their performance dropped by 0.4 per cent in terms of GDP percentage.

In 2020, there were a total of 2,979 foreign affiliates operating in Malaysia, which was a minute drop compared to the 2,990 affiliates from the previous year.

The highest value was generated by foreign affiliates involved in manufacturing, with RM115.8 billion contributed from those involved in this industry alone, while electrical and transport equipment was cited as being the most value generating among products manufactured.

This was followed by services (RM65.2 billion), mining and quarrying (RM56.6 billion) and other industries such as construction and agriculture (RM3.4 billion).

Entities from Asia made up the highest portion of foreign affiliates (63.7 per cent), followed by Europe (21 per cent) and the Americas (13.2 per cent).

Foreign affiliates employed a total of 859,541 people in 2020, and compensated them with some RM48.7 billion in that year.

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