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Penang unaffected by US-China trade war, state assembly told

Last Update: 07/11/2019

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 7 -- Penang has not been affected by the ongoing trade war between China and the United States, with statistics showing an increase in foreign direct investments, the state legislative assembly was told today.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman said, however, the state government was still assessing the long-term effects of the stand-off between the world's two largest economies.

"From feedback received, it is possible that the industries involved in the trade war, will relocate some of their operations to other countries," he said, in reply to a question from Nor Hafizah Othman (BN-Permatang Berangan).

Earlier, Ahmad Zakiyuddin said based on data from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), for the period between July and December 2018, New Foreign Investments and Foreign Reinvestments, stood at RM557.2 million and RM2,420 million, respectively.

For the same period, New Domestic Investments and Domestic Reinvestments amounted to RM617 million and RM202.4 million, respectively. The total amount of new investments and reinvestments for the period was RM3,796.6 million.

For the period between January and June 2019, New Foreign Investments and Foreign Reinvestments amounted to RM1,806.1 million and RM6,901.8 million respectively. For the same period, New Domestic Investments and Domestic Reinvestments amounted to RM179 million and RM327.5 million, respectively. The total amount of new investments and reinvestments for the period was RM9,214.4 million, he said.

According to InvestPenang records, no factories or companies had stopped operating or moved out of Penang since May 2018.

However, in 2019, there was one factory or company that implemented a voluntary separation scheme (VSS), namely Osram Opto Semiconductors (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (OSRAM).

"The implementation of the VSS involved less than 50 employees or one per cent of OSRAM employees in Penang and Kulim. In addition, there is a factory/company, Renesas Semiconductor (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which temporarily shut down operations from April 1 to September 30, 2019,” he said.

Ahmad Zakiyuddin said according to data from the Immigration Department, 600,537 foreign tourists arrived in the country through the Penang International Airport in 2017, while in 2018, tourist arrivals fell to 570,499.

The total number of tourist arrivals for the period between January and September 2019, was 557,800.

He explained that while revenue generated from the tourism sector was not specifically recorded, the closest sub-sector which could indicate the income received from tourism, was the services-based sector, based on the state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data.

In line with this, the contribution of the services-based sub-sector to the state GDP was RM43,430 million in 2017, and RM46,115 million in 2018, he said, adding that GDP data for 2019 was not yet released by the Statistics Department.



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