KUALA LUMPUR – More environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments are expected to be secured this year, said Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).
MIDA’s CEO, Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman, stated that the ESG investments will contribute to Malaysia’s total investment goal for this year, involving new foreign direct investments (FDI) and domestic direct investments (DDI), as well as increased investments from existing Malaysian enterprises.
“I am referring not only to the new investments that will come to Malaysia, but also the companies that already operate here. Multinational Corporations (MNCs) that already operate here must ensure that their exported products comply with ESG standards.
“We are here to assist these MNCs to be ESG-compliant. We intend to implement all the necessary policies, facilitation, and support to ensure the country is prepared to host new ESG investments in the coming years,” he explained.
Arham spoke to the reporters after the expert panel hosted by MIDA talking about Malaysia’s ESG agenda that is in line with the National Investment Aspiration (NIA).
According to him, Malaysia had a total of 889 approved investments in the green technology and green efficiency projects, amounting to RM3.7 billion in 2021.
Additionally, from January to March of this year, the government via MIDA approved 212 green technology projects and services worth RM433 million in total.
He said that since 2001 to March of this year, MIDA’s approved ESG investments that are related to green projects and green services amounted to RM35.5 billion spanning over 3,186 projects in total.
He noted that the green technology incentives had been favourably received since their introduction in 2014.
Furthermore, the Green Investment Tax Allowance (GITA) and Green Income Tax Exemption (GITE), which is extended until December 2023, have been receiving overwhelming support from the industrial and commercial sectors.
“As a result, businesses are encouraged to invest in harnessing renewable energy sources such as solar, biomass, biogas, and mini-hydro, in order to utilise energy efficient equipment and qualifying green services,” he explained.
He also said that there are numerous untapped opportunities in ESG investments for services related to renewable energy, electric vehicles support services, and energy efficiency services, to name a few.
Speaking on last year’s investment performance, Arham explained that Malaysia’s RM306.5 billion investment value was attributed to electrical and electronic products and semiconductor manufacturers that were increasing production.
He said the manufacturers increase investments in order to meet the supply shortage caused by the pandemic.
Aside from ESG investments, the panel also highlighted ESG adoption from global and ASEAN perspectives, the imperatives of bridging the gap in Malaysia towards the nation’s sustainable development, and facilitation measures to drive sustainable investments
The interactive session was moderated by Patrick Tay, Partner, Economics and Policy, PwC Malaysia; and joined by panellist namely; Masni Muhammad, Executive Director, Investment Policy Advocacy (Manufacturing) of MIDA; Shanta Helena Dwarkasing, Director of Programs, United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei; and William Chua, Corporate Manager, Ramatex Textiles Industrial Sdn. Bhd.
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