Capital investments in the services sector have accelerated this year, mostly domestic-led, and will surpass last year's performance, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed says.
The sector, which has been the key driver of growth in the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP), attracted RM64.4 billion capital last year, including RM48.2 billion domestic investments.
In the first half this year, investments in 2,379 services-based projects valued at RM59 billion (of which RM51 billion are domestic investments) were approved by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority(Mida), providing some 32,940 employment.
Mustapa also said of the 12 National Key Economic Areas, eight are from the services sector comprising financial services, distributive trade, tourism, business and professional services, private education, healthcare, oil, gas and energy and information and communication technology.
The services sector now accounts for 58.6 per cent of the nation's economy, way ahead of the manufacturing sector (27.5 per cent).
It also contributes employment to 7.2 million out of the 12 million people in the job market, which is likely to increase further after the opening of klia2 - the new terminal for low-cost carriers - next year, he added.
The services sector is targeted to contribute 65 per cent to gross domestic product under the 10MP.
Many large and multinational corporations have chosen Malaysia to set up their regional and global operations, taking advantage of the financial environment, skilled workforce and conducive business environment, Mustapa said on the sidelines of the Services Sector Conference here yesterday.
For the first nine months of 2012, 74 new regional establishments were approved by Mida.
The government has also liberalised the 44 sub-sectors within the services sector. This is expected to see a boost in foreign direct investments in the sector.
Mustapa also said the comprehensive roadmap for the services sector, which is being prepared by the World Bank, is expected to be completed by early next year.
The delay was in securing additional data from the Statistics Department
On the deadlock in the Asean-India FTA in services and investment, Mustapa hoped the negotiations can be concluded by early December before the Asean-India Commemorative Summit on December 20.
Earlier, Mustapa launched the Services Guidebook, a series of 21 booklets for the services industry.
Mida chairman Tan Sri Amirsham A. Aziz said the guidebook will serve as a promotional tool to promote investments in 19 specific sub-sectors.