MITI: 75.5pc of manufacturing projects approved between 2021 and 2023 have kicked off

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has so far implemented 1,802 projects, or 75.5 per cent of the 2,386 manufacturing projects approved from 2021 to 2023. 

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the 2,386 projects received the green light from the National Committee on Investments. 

A total of 1,597 projects are in the inception stage and 205 are in the construction or installation phases to date. 

Tengku Zafrul noted that 551 projects, or 23.1 per cent, are in the planning stage and 33 projects, or 1.4 per cent, are not implemented due to the companies' change of strategy. 

On the approved investments for the first quarter of 2024, he said the figure will be announced in early June. 

The ministry also approved RM60.5 billion worth of digital investments in 2023.  

From 2021 to 2023, the amount approved totalled  RM144.7 billion, whereby data centres take up a lion's share of the total at RM114.7 billion.  

Tengku Zafrul said foreign media had taken an interest in data centres   

"Although arguably data centres contribute a small number of jobs, what's important is they enable the digital economy," he told a press conference on the ministry's first quarter report card  yesterday. 

By end-2022, the digital economy grew to RM205 billion, accounting for 14 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), with mainly e-commerce and fintech charting the growth. 

"Our target is to expand the digital economy to 22.6 per cent of GDP by 2025 with efforts to improve Malaysia's digital transformation to enhance competitiveness.  

"A robust data centre ecosystem will support this growth sustainably. When you bring data centres into the country, there will be spillover  to other companies within the ecosystem." 

The year 2021 saw RM3.4 billion of approved digital investments. This surged to RM80.8 billion in 2023. 

On the electric vehicle sector, Tengku Zafrul said 2,214 charging stations were installed as of March 20. These are 1,741 AC chargers and 473 fast DC chargers. 

 The ministry has maintained its target of 10,000 charging stations by end-2025.  

On the electronics and electrical sector upcycle, Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia is poised to benefit from the rising demand.  

"Based on discussions with companies, our export will go up as they build up capacity following the demand from various industries. If we look at the investments made globally, this upcycle will benefit Malaysia." 

 Tengku Zafrul added that the ministry is concluding a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the United Arab Emirates by June.

 He said it is the first  FTA with the Middle Eastern country, adding that it is a comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

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