KUALA LUMPUR – Invest Selangor Bhd believes China’s investment interest in Malaysia is growing this year, especially in Selangor.

Its chief executive officer, Datuk Hasan Azhari Idris, said this was due to trade conflicts between China and the US.

“China is Selangor’s major investor with investments of RM 3.93 billion in 2018, mainly in manufacturing industries such as basic metal products and paper, followed by Japan with RM 435.6 million in the semiconductor, factory automation, automotive and food industries,” he said.

“China will likely maintain its position as the top investor (in Selangor) for this year, and relocate its operations as the country now has trade disputes with the US,” he added.

He said this during the briefing session of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Investment Series: Opening Business Potential in the State by a Selangor Government agency.

This year, the Selangor Government aims to achieve a total investment of RM 10 billion.

“We are on the right track to achieve the state government’s target. Currently, we only have MIDA released data for the first quarter of 2019 (from January to March) and based on that number, yes, there is more to be done,” Said Hasan Azhari.

“But usually we see an increase in the second half, so I believe we can reach the target,” he said, adding that the government focused on five high-tech clusters namely machinery and equipment, transport and equipment, life science, food and beverage, and electricity and electronics.

At the same time, Hasan Azhari said Invest Selangor had allocated another RM 10 million to run investment-linked programmes in Selangor for the second half from July to December 2019.

“The allocation may be less because there are certain programmes that involve high costs,” he said.

“Although part of the RM 7.11 million for the period of January to June, it was spent on various activities, and this is not only involving the trade investment mission, but also to all related programmes such as seminars, dialogues, business exhibitions and publications.”

Earlier during the opening speech, MIDA deputy chief executive officer Arham Abdul Rahman said the government is continuing its efforts to attract more high quality investments to all states.

He said this was done through the provision of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for foreign and domestic investors.

“For Selangor, as of March, a total of 9,097 projects with investments of RM 218.4 billion were approved by MIDA in the manufacturing sector, creating over 802,000 job opportunities.

“Selangor is indeed one of the most favored investment locations for manufacturing activities. Investors’ continued interest has enabled Selangor to record a remarkable level of reinvestment of 40.3 per cent, ” he said.

He said from 2010 to March 2019, 902 or 39.6 per cent of manufacturing projects were approved for expansion or diversification activities, while reinvestment by existing producers accounted for RM 37.6 billion or 41.9 per cent of total investment approved in the manufacturing sector.

“This is not surprising given that Selangor is home to the country’s largest airport, port, highway and other facilities,” he said.

“In addition to the infrastructure and the advantages of connectivity, Selangor can also attract a suitable and skilled workforce in various fields, talented and fluent in various languages,” he added.