Prioritising Business-friendly Environment Key to Penang’s Success

Prioritising Business-friendly Environment Key to Penang’s Success

1 March 2024

March 1, 2024 — InvestPenang remains resolute in its commitment to enhancing the ease of doing business in Penang, says its chief executive officer Datuk Loo Lee Lian.

Her comments came in the wake of Penang establishing itself as the top state in the country with approved investments of RM71.9 billion in 2023.

Penang was followed by Kuala Lumpur (RM58.3 billion), Selangor (RM55.3 billion), Johor (RM43.1 billion) and Kedah (RM28.7 billion).


Loo says InvestPenang’s top priority is to help investors do business in the state and country with ease.


“Improving the ease of doing business in Penang will remain our utmost priority. We will continue to seek and attract strategic high-quality projects and elevate our local companies’ participation in the global value chain while identifying opportunities in the current geopolitical and supply chain divergence environment,” Loo told Buletin Mutiara in an interview.

“InvestPenang would like to thank the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and relevant Federal and state agencies for their concerted efforts in enabling these strategic investments into Penang.

“We would also like to express our gratitude to all our investors for placing confidence and choosing Penang as their investment destination.”


Muhd Ghaddaffi says Penang’s accomplishments underscore its robust ecosystem.


Muhd Ghaddaffi Sardar, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) Penang director, shared that the concerted efforts of various quarters have yielded positive results.

He said Penang contributed RM71.9 billion from the RM329.4 billion investment approved in Malaysia covering the primary, manufacturing and services sectors for the year 2023. It increased significantly from the investment approved in 2022 amounting to RM16.3 billion. Of that amount, RM61.7 billion came from FDI while DDI contributed as much as RM 10.2 billion, creating 20,701 job opportunities involving 415 approved projects.

Muhd Ghaddaffi added that the manufacturing sector continues to be the largest contributor, amounting to RM63.4 billion, championed by the Electrical & Electronics industry (86.2%), Chemicals & Chemical Products (5.4%) and followed by other industries.

“This success highlights the effectiveness of investment promotion strategies, the attractiveness of Penang as an investment destination and the collaborative efforts that have propelled the state to the forefront of Malaysia’s investment landscape.

“This accomplishment underscores Penang’s robust economic ecosystem, business-friendly environment and proactive approach to fostering growth. It reflects positively on our commitment to innovation and providing a conducive platform for businesses to thrive. Additionally, it signals confidence from investors in the region’s potential and showcases our dedication to sustainable economic development,” Muhd Ghaddaffi said.


Wong says looking ahead, the state’s emphasis should be on enhancing infrastructure.


Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai, the president of the Malaysian Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA), attributed Penang’s achievements to several key factors.

He said the ecosystem developed over 50 years of industrialisation has undeniably played a big role in Penang’s success.

“This robust foundation supports a business-friendly government, coupled with a talented and experienced workforce.

“Going forward, it is crucial to shift our narrative from the perception of running out of land to a focus on optimising available resources. The emphasis should be on enhancing infrastructure, such as expanding the airport, and sea port, constructing additional bypass roads, and implementing the LRT. Simultaneously, there’s a need to attract and retain talent in Penang.

“We also need to expedite the construction of projects, and we hope for consistent support from the state and federal governments to facilitate a conducive business environment for investors,” Wong opined.

During the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) Annual Media Investment Conference 2024 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz projected a minimum growth of 8% to 10% growth in approved investments for Malaysia in 2024.

He highlighted that Bank Negara has forecasted gross development product (GDP) growth to be between 4% and 5%.

Tengku Zafrul pointed out that Malaysia achieved a significant increase in approved investments, totalling RM329.4 billion across manufacturing, services and primary sectors in 2023. This marked a robust 23% year-on-year growth from RM267.7 billion in 2022.

Foreign investments (FI) recorded a value of RM188.4 bil, equivalent to a 15.3% increase, while domestic investments (DI) grew 31.5% to RM141.1bil, reflecting domestic investors’ restored confidence.

Of total approved investments in 2023, FI contributed 57.2% with DI comprising the remaining 42.8%.

Tengku Zafrul further detailed the top five sources of FI, with Singapore leading at RM43.7 billion, the Netherlands (RM35.5bil), the United States (RM21.5bil), Cayman Islands (RM17.5bil) and China (RM14.5bil).

Source: Buletin Mutiara