Special financial zone can raise investments in Penang, says Guan Eng

Penang is no longer among the top five states for investment in Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 19, 2023.

A SPECIAL financial zone (SFZ) in Penang can reverse the fall in approved investments in the state, which had dropped out of the list of top five states for investors in the first half of 2023, former chief minister Lim Guan Eng said

Citing a report by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), Lim said Malaysia attracted RM132.6 billion (US$28.3 billion) in approved investments from January to June.

“The top five states that recorded significant investments… were Kuala Lumpur (RM31.7 billion), Selangor (RM29.7 billion), Kedah (RM14.6 billion), Johor (RM14.2 billion) and Sabah (RM9 billion),” he said in a statement today.

“These investments in the service (RM82.4 billion), manufacturing (RM44.9 billion) and primary (RM5.3 billion) sectors involve 2,651 projects and are expected to create 51,853 job opportunities.”

He said the projects represented an increase of 34.8% year-on-year.

“There is no doubt that the service sector will be the primary source of approved investments in the future for Malaysia, comprising 62% of total approved investments.”

He said Penang was again not among the top five states for investments after it dropped out of the list in the first half of 2022.

Lim blamed the decline on lack of investments in the service sector while manufacturing investments had also dropped as a result of Penang’s depleting industrial land bank.

“Even Kedah (has made it into the top five) due to its large industrial land bank and proximity to Penang,” the DAP chairman said.

On Sunday, Lim proposed an SFZ in Penang to boost investments and economic growth not just for the state but for the country.

He said Penang residents as well as the Chinese and Indian chambers of commerce fully supported the move.

“My proposal for an SFZ for Penang… is based on Penang possessing all the critical competitive and comparative advantages of an industrial state, which happens to be the nation’s largest exporter.” – September 19, 2023.

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