KUALA TERENGGANU, 5 September — Terengganu continues to attract investments amid the global economic volatility, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority said.
Chief Executive Officer Datuk Azman Mahmud said for the 1980-2015 period, 192 manufacturing projects with investments worth RM33 billion were approved and implemented in the state.
He said domestic investments led with RM20 billion or 62%, while foreign investments made up the remaining RM13 billion or 38%.
The projects concentrated on petroleum products, including petrochemicals amounted to RM13.6 billion, chemicals and chemical products (RM8.4 billion), basic metal products (RM5.4 billion), and natural gas (RM4.0 billion), he said, adding that they created more than 21,000 jobs for local people.
The investments also contributed to infrastructure development and business opportunities for traders and small and medium enterprises such as logistics services, maintenance, landscaping, and cleaning, he told reporters after opening the Terengganu Investment Seminar 2016, here today.
Terengganu Trade and Industry Committee chairman Datuk Tengku Putera Tengku Awang was present.
Azman said besides Petronas, other major companies operating in Terengganu were Eastern Steel, Huntsman P&A Asia, Terengganu Silica Consortium, PFC Engineering, MSET Shipbuilding Corporation, Delphi Packard Electric, and AFI Brake Manufacturing.
He said two wood processing and product plants with investments totalling RM22.9 million were approved for Terengganu in the first quarter of this year, while total investment is expected to increase to RM500 million by year-end.
Azman said the yardstick of success in attracting investment should not confined to the number of investors and absolute value of the investments recorded, instead securing quality investments, particularly high-tech and high value-added projects.
He said it is also important to attract knowledge and skill-based export-oriented investments, R&D and design intensive, and those having strong relationships with the local industry.
“In short, we want to continue to enhance economic growth and ensure continuous welfare and prosperity of the people,” he said.
He said Malaysia has over 40 years of experience in the manufacturing sector since the setting up of several global companies in the early 70s.
Although some manufacturing companies have shifted to smart manufacturing, robotic installation methods, precision engineering, he said many local companies have not upgraded their capacity and production quality to meet current industry needs.
“The world is now in the fourth industrial revolution or industry 4.0. Therefore, it is important for local companies to embrace automation and technology to improve productivity and competitiveness and reduce dependence on labour,” he said.
Azman said in order to achieve this objective, the government introduced the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund with an allocation of RM1 billion in 2012 under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) and an additional allocation of RM1 billion under the 11MP.
The fund aims at helping local companies capitalise on outsourcing opportunities provided by multinationals operating in the country, improving technology adoption and acquiring international certification and standards in strategic industries, he added.