KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said foreign investors, including Fortune 500 companies, had continued to show interest in investing in Malaysia due to various incentives offered by the government.
“We offer special incentives. This is our way to attract investors. So for me, it is important that we increase investment. If you come to Malaysia, you would get very attractive incentives.
“So, this is what I think is our way to attract investors. So for me, it is important that we increase investment, but set our eyes on (certain) sectors such as high technology and digital,” he said.
Muhyiddin said this in a special interview conducted by Bernama and several media organisations with him, in conjunction with his first anniversary as the Prime Minister at his residence in Bukit Damansara here yesterday.
The Prime Minister recently launched the MyDIGITAL Initiative, executed via the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint – aimed at accelerating the country’s transformation into a technologically-advanced economy by 2030 by, among other things, improving digital literacy, creating high-income jobs, and making banking and finance business easier.
On top of that, the government announced several tax incentives under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) to boost investment activity, including a 10-15 year tax exemption for new foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector with capital investment of RM300 million or more. Specific initiatives implemented include the setting up of the Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit (Pacu) and various online platforms such as i-Incentive had also expedited the realisation of investments.
Muhyiddin said according to the latest data, Malaysia received a total of RM109.8 billion in new investments in the economic sector, including manufacturing and services, for the first nine months of 2020.
“During the period, there were 2,935 projects involved, with 64,701 jobs created,” he said.
He said the manufacturing sector attracted most of the approved investments for the period, accounting for more than half, at 59.5 per cent of RM65.3 billion investments, followed by services and other primary sectors.
Muhyiddin said the government was not worried about its pro-business policies to encourage the investment sector to grow in the future – moreover, some local companies were seen to be competitive in expanding their business abroad. In addition, the government had also decided to encourage domestic investment.
“Companies that have already existed in Malaysia, especially Malaysian companies, have become multinational companies, some have gone abroad as well. So, we want them to continue to expand by re-investing in the country,” said the Prime Minister.
He also stressed that a comprehensive plan to develop the country’s economy, including that of Penjana, had yielded results in reducing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the national economy, which grew
-5.7 per cent last year.
To date, the accumulated amount of the country stimulus packages was worth RM320 billion – or equivalent to 20.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“But (more) importantly, at this juncture we have reopened the economy and we believe we cannot impose a clampdown. Maybe the tourism sector has not recovered as we had wanted, that we have to see.
“InsyaAllah (God-willing), next month (March) I will announce a comprehensive strategy, I just discussed this with the Finance Minister. I will announce what the real strategy is, so that we can get out of the current problem faster and our economy will become more vibrant. Just wait – I will announce that, maybe in the middle of March,” he said. — Bernama