KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has achieved the highest realised foreign direct investment (FDI) in its history.
The country received RM21.7 billion in FDI in the first quarter of this year. During the same period last year the country recorded RM11.2 billion. This represents an increase of 94.8 per cent in FDI.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the improvement in realised FDI demonstrated the strength of the economy and rising confidence that foreign investors had in Malaysia and its government.
“The RM21.7 billion realised FDI in the first quarter of 2019 was the highest level ever recorded in Malaysian history for one quarter,” he said.
“These new investments will raise the economy’s growth potential and create additional jobs for Malaysians in the near future,” he said in a statement in conjunction with Wesak Day.
“The government hopes the domestic private sector will also emulate the same confidence exhibited by foreign investors in Malaysia.”
Lim said a majority of the record RM21.7 billion FDI was contributed through a RM8.4 billion investment from Japan, RM3.7 billion from Austria and RM2.8 billion from Hong Kong, China.
He said Malaysia also registered a large current account surplus and the largest number of tourist arrivals in a span of two years.
Lim said the current account surplus in the first quarter rose to RM16.4 billion, or 4.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) from the 3.0 per cent in the previous period, and would remain in surplus in the foreseeable future.
He said the first quarter of this year also saw the nation welcoming a total of 6.7 million tourists, by far the biggest since the fourth quarter of 2016.
He said the 2.7 per cent increase from a year ago when 6.5 million tourists visited Malaysia, was a 3.9 per cent increase compared with the 2018 fourth quarter arrivals of 6.5 million tourists.
Lim also said that the first quarter GDP growth of 4.5 per cent demonstrated the buoyancy of country’s economy when faced with uncertain external challenges caused by the United States-China trade war, which gave Malaysia a good headstart for the year.
“As we celebrate this year’s Wesak Day in comfort, let us remember the teachings of Lord Buddha enjoining us to be good and compassionate, always helping each other and never leaving the unfortunate behind,” he said.
“In the same spirit, the Government will pursue inclusive growth in line with the principles of shared prosperity to ensure prosperity for all, as elaborated by the prime minister during his speech commemorating the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan administration.
“With this, we aspire to build a more perfect Malaysian society that is just, united and prosperous,” Lim said.Source: New Straits Times