Investment growth in 1Q due to political stability, clear economic policies - Anwar

22 May 2023 01:47pm
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is also the Finance Minister answering questions at the Parliament. - BERNAMA
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is also the Finance Minister answering questions at the Parliament. - BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - Political stability as well as economic policies that are clear and encouraging to investors have led to stronger investments in various economic sectors in the first quarter (1Q) of 2023, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said approved investments for 1Q 2023 totalled RM71.4 billion, a 60 per cent increase from the RM44.7 billion recorded in 1Q 2022.

"I feel the political stability has boosted investor confidence and spurred investments to flow in stronger than previously, but what is important is not just announcements (of investments) and memoranda of understanding but also the implementation,” he said during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

This was in reply to supplementary questions from Datuk Seri Hamzah bin Zainudin (PN-Larut) and Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) on investor confidence and Malaysia’s key economic policies.

Anwar cited Amazon Web Services’ plan to invest RM25.5 billion the investments as well as investments from Tesla in electric vehicles, China-based Rongsheng Petrochemical Co Ltd in petrochemicals and Geely/Proton (smart automotive city in Tanjung Malim) for starters.

The Prime Minister said if the economic policies were confusing, Malaysia’s economic growth would not have outpaced those of Indonesia, Vietnam and China.

Malaysia’s economy grew by 5.6 per cent in 1Q 2023, better than the performance of countries in the region such as Indonesia (5.0 per cent), China (4.5 per cent) and Vietnam (3.3 per cent).

The growth was also stronger than Bank Negara Malaysia’s forecast of between 4.0 per cent and 5.0 per cent for 2023, Anwar noted.

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"If our policies are confusing, we would not have seen investments coming; and these are serious investments. Following my visit to China, Geely decided to accelerate the Automotive Hi-Tech Valley (AHTV) project in Proton City, Tanjung Malim,” he said.

In addition, Anwar said, the confidence in the government’s economic management is proven by credit rating agencies Fitch Rating’s (February 2023) and Moody’s Investors Service’s (April 2023) affirmation of Malaysia’s sovereign credit ratings.

On 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), Anwar said work on getting the US$1.8 billion settlement by the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) will continue.

"As everyone knows, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi (Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan) is in Malaysia now to continue the discussion, as well as to discuss on investments,” he said.

The 1MDB settlement is part of the government’s effort to strengthen governance to ensure positive progress. - BERNAMA