PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has benefited from the US-China trade war, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, adding that a spate of relocations and trade diversions has attracted more foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.
Lim said there had been a 73.4% increase in approved FDI in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year 2018.
He said Malaysia recorded FDI worth RM29.3 billion for all sectors during the period, from RM16.9 billion in 2018.
Lim said there had been a surge in FDI growth in the manufacturing sector, with the bulk coming from the US, China, and Singapore.
He said as a result, more than 41,200 jobs would be created for Malaysians.
Lim also said industrial production growth reached a six-month high in April amid an environment of low and stable inflation of 0.2%.
“These developments offer further hints of healthy second-quarter GDP growth.”
He also said that prices have dropped for some basic consumer goods, attributing this to the switch from the goods and services tax (GST) to the sales and services tax (SST) and the imposition of ceiling prices for RON95 and diesel.
“For instance, the average price of lady’s fingers in April 2019 was RM7.30 per kg, which was 25 sen lower than it was a year ago at RM7.55 per kg in April 2018.”
Other food items he said that are now cheaper than they were last April include coconut, brinjals, chicken, and beef among others.
Lim praised the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry for managing price hikes during the Hari Raya festive seasons.