KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the world’s investment landscape, including Malaysia which saw nine foreign manufacturing companies shutting down their operations in the country from March 2020-May 2021.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong said the companies were from the textiles, steel and machinery, chemicals, building materials, electrical and electronics sectors.
He said this in reply to a question from William Leong Jee Keen (PH-Selayang) on the number of foreign investors that had ceased their operations during the pandemic.
According to Lim, factors that led to the closures include the contraction in the global economy due to the pandemic, the drop in sales and demand from overseas, rising operating costs, lack of demand for the products as well as the restructuring of operations.
“Nevertheless, Malaysia remains a major investment destination for investors in the region, as the total investment from January to June 2021 rose by 69.8 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM107.5 billion,” he said, adding that foreign direct investments (FDI) surged by 214.9 per cent y-oy to RM62.5 billion
Meanwhile, replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (Pejuang-Jerlun) on the RM42.2 billion investment by Risen Energy Co Ltd which was announced in June, Lim said that the investment will be made in stages.
To recap, the Chinese solar energy firm is planning to invest RM42.2 billion over the period of 15 years in a new production facility in Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Kedah, to manufacture high-efficiency photovoltaic modules.
Mukhriz had questioned the rationality of the investment in the new facility — which spans across 48 acres of land — as the amount is equivalent to RM880 million per acre.
Lim explained that the investment not only includes the purchase of the land but also involves the purchase of machinery as well as the use of high technology since the company uses advanced solar technology. — Bernama