KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia's foreign investments in the first quarter surged 73.4 percent year-on-year to 29.3 billion ringgit (about 7 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter, driven mainly by manufacturing investment, according to a government agency Monday.
Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said in a statement, the country's total approved investments rose 3.1 percent year-on-year to 53.9 billion ringgit in the first quarter, with domestic investments approved standing at 24.6 billion ringgit, contributing 45.6 percent to the total investments.
"The positive investment growth of the first quarter was mainly driven by the robust performance of the manufacturing sector that soared by 126.8 percent (to 11.2 billion ringgit) compared to the first quarter, 2018," said MIDA.
Foreign investments in approved manufacturing projects jumped 127 percent year-on-year to 20.2 billion ringgit, supported mainly by the United States, China, Singapore, Japan, and the British Virgin Island.
Chinese manufacturing investments stood at 4.4 billion ringgit (1.06 billion dollars), which included a notable investment from XSD International Paper that is projected to drive the development of all related papermaking in the region with its proposed 2.3 billion ringgit (550 million dollars) of investment.
The company plans to cooperate with a local technical university to improve the papermaking skills in Malaysia, said MIDA.
Meanwhile, the services sector attracted the largest portion of approved investments to the country and garnered 1,445 approved projects with investments worth 26.1 billion ringgit (6.27 billion dollars).
The primary sector also contributed 2.4 billion ringgit (576 million dollars) to the total approved investments in the first quarter.
According to the statement, the total investments approved in January to March were 1,678 projects, and are expected to generate more than 41,200 job opportunities for the country.