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Manufacturing investments hit RM40.7b [06-12-2011]  
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INVESTMENTS in Malaysia's manufacturing sector reached RM40.7 billion in the first 10 months of 2011 and the full-year figure is expected to surpass last year's numbers.

In 2010, total investments from local and foreign investors stood at RM47.2 billion, 45 per cent more than 2009.

The five leading sources of foreign investments were the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Germany who invested mainly in electrical and electronics, and basic metal products.

Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said domestic investments have increased in response to the call by the government for local investors to assume a prominent role under the Economic Transformation Programme.

"We launched a programme early last year to revamp and improve the government's delivery system, eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks and improving transparency and accountability.

"This programme have had far-reaching impact and made us one of the most competitive business locations in the world," he said yesterday, at the launch of Toshiba Transmission and Distribution Systems Asia Sdn Bhd (TTDA), a unit of Toshiba Corp.

Mustapa said Japan will continue to be one of the top five sources of foreign investment in Malaysia.

Approved Japanese investments in 2010 totalled RM4.02 billion and for the first eight months of this year, RM2.46 billion has been achieved.

"We believe we can reach the same level as last year. There are a few more investments in the pipeline," Mustapa said, without elaborating.

Meanwhile, TTDA chairman Hiroyuki Mogi said the company will invest RM268 million over the next five years to set up a global supply hub in Malaysia, targeting business in Asean, as well as to improve its existing infrastructure.

The key role of TTDA is to develop its business for transmission and distribution systems in Asean, and undertake research and development in photovoltaic solar power generation and smart grids.

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