Malaysia recorded a higher net inflow of RM19.3 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the fourth quarter of 2022 (4Q2022), compared with RM12.3 billion in the preceding quarter, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said manufacturing remained as the largest sector receiving FDI, followed by services, predominantly in information and communications, and mining and quarrying.
“The main FDI sources were from the US, Switzerland and Singapore.
“Direct investment abroad (DIA) logged a higher net outflow of RM28.7 billion in 4Q2022, compared with RM10.3 billion in 3Q2022,” he said in a statement on Friday (Feb 10).
Mohd Uzir said major contributors to the outflows were services, particularly in wholesale and retail trade activities, followed by the mining, quarrying and manufacturing sectors.
The top three DIA destinations were the Netherlands, the UK and Indonesia.
On a yearly basis, Mohd Uzir said 2022’s financial account posted a higher net inflow of RM14.8 billion from RM13.0 billion in 2021, due to higher inflows in other investments and direct investment.
He said FDI inflows in 2022 surged to RM73.3 billion from RM48.1 billion in 2021, while DIA also recorded a higher net outflow of RM57.3 billion compared with RM19.7 billion in the preceding year.
“As at the end of 2022, FDI stood at RM875.1 billion, while DIA was at RM602.1 billion.
“Malaysia’s international investment position registered net assets of RM63.0 billion, while international reserves stood at RM503.2 billion,” he said, pertaining to accumulated investments.
Current account balance surplus
Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said Malaysia’s current account balance continued to record a surplus of RM47.2 billion in 2022, compared with RM58.7 billion in the preceding year.
“The surplus, which made up 2.6% of gross domestic product, was largely buoyed by net exports of goods at RM169.3 billion.
“Exports of goods recorded at RM1.2 trillion were mainly for electrical and electronics (E&E), petroleum and palm oil-based products. The main destinations were Singapore, China and the US,” he said.
The chief statistician said imports of goods stood at RM1.0 trillion, primarily E&E products. The main sources of imports were China, Singapore and Taiwan.
“Looking at the services trade performance in 2022, this account logged a deficit of RM45.4 billion, narrowing 25.2% against a RM60.7 billion deficit in the previous year.
“This was mainly contributed by travel, which witnessed a lower deficit of RM1.8 billion, compared with a deficit of RM14.6 billion in 2021,” he said.
Mohd Uzir noted that travel exports reached 33.9% of pre-pandemic levels (2019), increasing significantly to RM27.9 billion in 2022 versus RM0.3 billion in the preceding year.
“Moreover, a component of services, namely manufacturing and construction, also showed a favourable performance in 2022, with a higher surplus of RM16.7 billion for manufacturing and RM1.3 billion for construction,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Finance’s economic outlook, the current account balance surplus is anticipated to reach RM73.0 billion in 2023, with the net export of goods at RM216.2 billion.
Malaysia’s 2022 current account balance surplus was still below the pre-pandemic level of RM52.9 billion in 2019.