KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has demonstrated its ability to turn approved investments into actual investments, with as much as 78.7 per cent of the total approved investments for the period from 2018 to June 2023 already realised, said Malaysian Rating Corporation Bhd (MARC).

With the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) expected to attract more foreign investments, attaining net benefits from external collaborations towards higher value-added exports should be prioritised, It said in a statement today.

MARC noted that the materialisation of foreign investments over time will raise Malaysia's net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows-to-GDP ratio, which, at 3.6 per cent as of 2022, is ahead of most of its peers in the region.

"Facilitating technological diffusion requires absorptive capacity supported by well-designed investment policies, high quality infrastructure and continuous human capital investment.

"This is required to facilitate the timely implementation of approximately RM188 billion worth of approved foreign investments in 2023, a 15.3 per cent increase over those recorded in 2022," it said.

According to MARC, Malaysia's medium- and high-tech exports as a share of total manufacturing exports (ME) declined from 76.4 per cent in 2000 to 62.0 per cent in 2021, due to regional competition.

Additionally, there has been a decline in the attractiveness of Malaysia's exports, alongside receding interest in the country as a base for outsourcing, it added.

"In response to these challenges, the NIMP 2030 outlines medium-term strategies to progress towards producing high-value and competitive goods, building upon past industrial master plans that have developed a mature yet recently plateaued electronic industry.

"While the goal includes increased employment, higher wages and greater value add in the manufacturing sector, successful execution remains a key challenge," it said.