“We know it’s tough, but on the basis of what we have been receiving in terms of applications, enquiries and approvals so far, interest continues to be strong.
“Under the current challenging environment, it has become more important for us to undertake aggressive promotions,” he told reporters after the launch of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) World Investment Report 2012 here yesterday.
According to the report, Malaysia was ranked third for FDI inflow into Asean last year, with Singapore and Indonesia positioned at the top with US$64 billion and US$18.91 billion respectively, while Thailand occupied fourth spot at US$9.57 billion.
Unctad division on Investment Enterprise, Investment Trends and Issues Branch, Investment Issues section chief, Hafiz Mirza, said the four countries were the frontliners in Asean with no one else in the region coming close.
“In my view, Malaysia remains one of the strongest because of its services and manufacturing sectors, and it is not possible for the country to fall off the cliff,” he added.
The report also revealed that FDI inflow reached a new record in the sub-regions of East Asia and Southeast Asia last year, up 14% to US$336 billion, accounting for 22% of the total globally.
Hafiz said Southeast Asia remained a significant part of the global economy and would continue to be within the parameters of interest for FDI inflow.