KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia approved a record 306.5 billion ringgit ($73.33 billion) in investments last year, an 83% jump from 2020 led by the manufacturing sector, the nation's investment promotion agency said on Tuesday.
The manufacturing sector secured 195.1 billion ringgit worth of projects in 2021, 114% more than in the previous year, with the bulk of investment going to the electrical and electronics industry, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said in a statement.
The northern state of Penang, which is Southeast Asia's semiconductor manufacturing hub, was the largest recipient of investments.
"The manufacturing sector continued to be the mainstay of the economy for 2021, generating significant multiplier effects on the nation's activities and growth," MIDA said.
Foreign direct investments accounted for about 68% of the approved investments, more than three times than in 2020. Top foreign investors included The Netherlands, Singapore, China, Austria and Japan.
Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali said in the statement that easing COVID-19 restrictions and high vaccination rates have allowed economic activities to resume in Malaysia.