Malaysia’s investments in 2021 will reach a record $73 billion.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Reuters) – Malaysia authorized a record 306.5 billion ringgit ($73.33 billion) in investments last year, an increase of 83 percent from 2020, the country’s investment promotion agency said on Tuesday. The industrial sector accounted for the majority of the increase.

The manufacturing sector received 195.1 billion ringgit worth of projects in 2021, an increase of 114 percent over the previous year, with the electrical and electronics industry receiving the majority of investment, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) stated in a statement.

Penang, Malaysia’s northernmost state and Southeast Asia’s semiconductor manufacturing powerhouse, received the most investment.

“For 2021, manufacturing remained the economy’s backbone, delivering considerable multiplier impacts on the nation’s operations and development,” MIDA said.

Foreign direct investments contributed for around 68 percent of investment approvals, more than three times the level in 2020. The Netherlands, Singapore, China, Austria, and Japan were the top international investors.

Mohamed Azmin Ali, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry, said in a statement that lowering COVID-19 limitations and increasing vaccination rates had enabled commercial activity to continue in Malaysia.

(1 dollar equals 4.1800 ringgit)

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