Policy certainty, clarity and consistency provided by a competent, accountable and transparent government has enabled the economy to grow by 4.5% in the first quarter of 2019, beating market consensus compiled by Bloomberg of growing only 4.3%. The 4.5% expansion demonstrates the resilience of our economy in the face of uncertain external challenges caused by the China-US trade war. This gives Malaysia a good start for the year.
Greater FDI, bigger current account surplus and more tourists
The results are clear: the first quarter also recorded the highest realised foreign direct investment (FDI) in Malaysian history, a large current account surplus and the largest number of tourist arrivals in 2 years (see Table 1).
Realised FDI increased by 94.8% to RM21.7 billion in the same quarter from RM11.2 billion a year ago. Realised FDI is actual foreign investment made during the period. This indicates the strength of the economy and the rising confidence foreign investors have in Malaysia and its Government.
The RM21.7 billion realised FDI in the first quarter of 2019 is the highest level ever recorded in Malaysian history for one quarter. These new investments will raise the economy’s growth potential and create additional jobs for Malaysians in the near future.
A majority of the record high RM21.7 billion FDI was contributed by the RM8.4 billion investment from Japan, RM3.7 billion from Austria and RM2.8 billion from Hong Kong. The Government hopes the domestic private sector will emulate the same confidence exhibited by foreign investors in Malaysia.