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Najib Unveils $6.5 Billion in Malaysia Private Investment

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak
Najib Razak, Malaysia's prime minister. Photographer: Sabine Albers/Bloomberg

Malaysia announced private investment plans worth a total 20.5 billion ringgit ($6.5 billion), seeking to bolster growth as Europe’s debt crisis threatens to slow expansion in Southeast Asia’s third-biggest economy.

The investments include a 12.5 billion-ringgit property development by GuocoLand Malaysia Bhd. near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Prime Minister Najib Razak said yesterday in the Kelana Jaya suburb outside the capital.

“Global economic headwinds are uncertain,” Najib told reporters. “Now more than ever, we must keep to our true north to focus on the key engines of growth in the economy and to be competitive globally.”

The prime minister has sought to boost investment as he strives to shore up confidence in the government ahead of elections due by early 2013, unveiling in 2010 an Economic Transformation Program that identified $444 billion of private-sector led projects ranging from mass rail to oil storage for the current decade. Malaysia is set to hit a foreign-direct-investment target of 33 billion ringgit this year, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said yesterday.

Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second-largest maker of semiconductors, said earlier this month it will invest 4 billion ringgit over 10 years in its wafer fabrication facilities in the Malaysia’s north.

Malaysia’s economic growth slowed last quarter as the protracted European debt crisis sapped demand for its exports. Gross domestic product rose 4.7 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier, after expanding 5.2 percent in the previous quarter, the central bank said on May 23.

GuocoLand waterfront project will cover 4,000 acres of land in Sepang, Selangor, according to a government statement yesterday. Boustead Heavy Industries Corp. will invest 1.6 billion ringgit in its shipbuilding and repair business, the government said.

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