SHAH ALAM (Sept 11): Investment prospects into Selangor for 2018 are not `very optimistic’ as political and economic uncertainties including the United States, North Korean and South China Sea issues, as well as Malaysia’s situation, plague the market.

“Last year, when we did the forecast for 2017, it showed optimism but based on the third quarter of this year, reports show it is not the case,” said Selangor Investment, Industry, Commerce, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Transport Committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim.

“We are facing challenges from global economy development. Unnecessary political and instability issues in the region such as North Korea and South China Sea, affect sentiments. This includes the domestic political situation.

“These factors have been taken into account (in terms of outlook), but fortunately, Malaysia’s fundamentals are strong, although we still have to work hard to build the fundamentals,” he told reporters at the Selangor-Internation Business Summit and the Selangor-Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) Business Summit.

Selangor is the second highest manufacturing investment destination in Malaysia, which made up RM7.88 billion or 22.7% of total manufacturing investments last year, compared with 22.6% in 2016.

“The forecast is not the important [factor] but the long-term plan, and strategy to attract investment and sustain it. That is the difficult part. We strive to provide a friendly environment.

“(For now), we haven’t got the forecast for next year, but looking at this year, it does not seem optimistic for this year, but we have to carry on to ensure constant flow of investment into Selangor,” Teng said.

Invest Selangor Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Hasan Azhari Idris said the target for manufacturing investment in 2017 is RM6.5 billion, but the state is not certain on the current realised investments, as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) has not released the information yet.

He noted the performance for this year is not as robust as 2016, while its outlook for next year depends on global trends.

“We don’t intend to place a high target for next year, although investments was RM7.8 billion and this year, RM6.5 billion. We are monitoring the situation,” Hasan added.

He said the state has taken proactive measures by organising foreign investment missions with a focus on electrical and electronics (E&E), food and beverage (F&B), machineries and equipment (M&E), transport equipment and life sciences.

“Apart from those clusters, we are also looking at the halal sector, aerospace, biotechnology and e-commerce,” Hasan added.