DESPITE the challenging uncertainties in the global economy, Penang remained a favourable destination for investment when the state recorded RM8.85 billion of total approved manufacturing investment in Malaysia in the first quarter of this year.
According to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Penang successfully garnered 41 projects amounting to RM8.85 billion (+ 768% year-on-year) from January to March this year. The figure represented 35% of Malaysia’s total approved manufacturing investment.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the achievement surpassed the full year investment amount of RM5.78 billion last year.
“The total approved manufacturing investment in the first quarter of this year (1Q19) is expected to create 10,073 new job opportunities in the state.
“Penang is the key contributor to Malaysia’s manufacturing foreign direct investment (FDI).
“We attracted RM8.47 billion of manufacturing FDI (+ 1,360% year-on-year) in 1Q19. It represented 42% of Malaysia’s FDI,” he told a press conference in Komtar today.
Chow said that remarkable investments in Penang included projects from Micron Technology and Jabil Circuit, among others.
He added that the optimal combinations of robust supply chain, strong talent pool, well-established infrastructure and the state’s support services to investors made Penang the preferred destination for investments.
“While Penang could be a preferred investment destination in the mid to long run, I am cautiously optimistic with the near-term outlook due to the latest trade war development.
“There was a truce on the trade war in 1Q19 but the situation has worsened since then. United States president Donald Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on another US$300 billion of Chinese exports to the United States.
“The meeting between Trump and China’s leader Xi Jin Ping later this month is crucial.
“The superb 1Q19 investment figure may not repeat itself in 2Q19 or 3Q19 but Penang’s investment outlook is on the right track in the medium to longer term,” he said.
“The Penang government, through investPenang, will continue to focus on bringing in high quality investments that suit the state’s industry profile and those that can create high value jobs.
“We cannot control the global macro risk, but we have been proactively introducing initiatives to mitigate the impact of the US-China trade war on the overall local economy,” he said.
Some of the initiatives include the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with China Chamber of International Commerce with the objective to promote bilateral investment and economic and technological cooperation; providing a subsidised rental rates scheme for local small and medium-sized enterprises to rent industrial space at the Penang SME Centre in Bayan Lepas; offering micro-financing option (Skim Pinjaman Harapan) to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs in Penang; establishment of the ‘Penang Strategic Investment Advisory Council’; and providing seed fund to technology start-ups that require funding to grow their businesses and operations.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud
Video by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis