The manufacturing sector led with investments of RM33.6bil, accounting for 58.5% of the total, followed by the services sector at RM22.3bil or 38.9% and the primary sector at RM1.5bil or 2.6%.
“This increase comes despite the World Banks lower growth forecast for the economy in 2015. It reflects the faith of investors in Malaysia as an attractive investment destination and Malaysia’s ability to hold its own in an increasingly competitive environment,” he said.
Mustapa said policies and processes implemented under the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme were key to enhancing Malaysia’s status as a preferred investment destination.
“This is reflected in our rankings by international organisations: The IMD World Competitiveness Centre ranked Malaysia as the 14th most competitive nation among 60 economies.
The World Bank, which compares 189 countries, ranked Malaysia as the 18th easiest place to do business. The World Economic Forum, which compares 144 countries, ranked Malaysia 20th most competitive,” he said.
He also noted that the bulk of the investments came from domestic sources, which contributed RM47.4bil or 82.6% of the total investments while foreign sources contributed RM10bil or 17.4%.
“This is in line with the Government’s goal to promote higher domestic investments to spearhead economic growth. Projects approved in the first quarter are expected to generate about 48,120 jobs opportunities,” he said.
For the first three months of 2015, approved investments in the manufacturing sector surged 152.6% compared with the corresponding period a year earlier.
The higher investments were from the Petronas project in Pengerang, Johor, to build a refinery and cracker plant as well as expansion and diversification activities by existing electrical and electronics manufacturers in storage devices, and semiconductor sub-sectors. — Bernama