Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman told the state legislative assembly sitting that the total investments from July to December 2018 were at RM3.79 billion.NSTP/MIKAIL ONG

GEORGE TOWN: The trade war between China and the United States has resulted in Penang doubling its total investments in the first six months of this year, compared to the second-half of 2018.

Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman told the state legislative assembly sitting that the total investments from July to December 2018 were at RM3.79 billion.

He said the figure increased to RM9.2 billion between January and June this year, at a time when the trade war escalated.

“The new foreign investment was at RM1.8 billion in the first six months of this year and RM6.8 billion in reinvestment, an increase from RM557.2 million for new foreign investment and RM2.42 billion in reinvestment in the final six months of last year.

For the local investment, Penang recorded RM179 million for new investment and RM327.5 million re-investment for the first six months this year, compared to RM617 million new investment and RM202.4 million re-investment in the final six months of last year.

“Looking at the figures, Penang is not affected by the trade war, instead we recorded an increase in total investments in the period,” he said today, in a reply to a question by Nor Hafizah Othman (BN-Permatang Berangan) on the state government’s measures to increase foreign investments into the state.

She also asked how the government was tackling the weakening of ringgit, which has affected investments.

Zakiyuddin reiterated that Penang was not affected by the weakening ringgit.

“InvestPenang is carrying out its function to attract more foreign investments,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zakiyuddin also said that only one company had offered the voluntary separation scheme (VSS), affecting less than 50 workers from Osram Opto Semiconductors (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Penang and Kulim.