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penang-investment

The recent sharp drop in investments flowing into Penang compared to the years before has been expected as part of a “consolidation” trend, a state investment promotion agency said.

InvestPenang said after two years of high investments pouring in, including 2019’s historic RM16.9 billion and 2020’s RM14.1 billion, this year’s RM1.1 billion in the first quarter “was perfectly normal”.

It said it expects the state to hit RM5 billion in investments for the whole of 2021.

“The first quarter’s performance is consistent with Penang’s investment historical trends, whereby a consolidation could happen, after one to two years of investment spike,” InvestPenang said in a statement.

The agency said despite the drop on the investment front, Penang’s exports came up tops in the country, with RM84.9 billion in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 22% year-on-year.

It said the export numbers represented nearly half of the country’s trade surplus of RM28.2 million.

“Underpinned by a healthy pipeline of investment enquiries that may materialise beyond this year, InvestPenang is targeting RM5 billion in manufacturing investments for 2021,” it said.

Penang was conspicuously missing from the top five states for investment figures released by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) in Q1 this year, prompting speculation of a slump.

The state’s manufacturing sector, largely in the electrical and electronic sector, has been dubbed the Silicon Valley of the East and has often come up tops in the country’s investment figures.

Penang came in sixth place this year in terms of the first quarter Mida-approved investment figures in the manufacturing sector. Kedah took pole position this year at RM42.4 billion, followed by Sabah (RM4.3 billion), Selangor (RM4 billion), Melaka (RM3.4 billion) and Johor (RM1.7 billion).

Chief Statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin revealed on June 9 that Penang, among five other states, led the country’s exports. The five states recorded an 80.5% share of the whole of last year’s RM184.8 billion in exports.

Penang recorded 31.8% in exports, followed by Johor (20%), Selangor (18.9%), Sarawak (6.7%) and Perak (3.2%).

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday.com

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