Foreign Direct Investment Relationship With Malaysian Economic Growth

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This study will give us an opportunity to identify the determinants of FDI that develops economic growth, to understand the importance of foreign direct investment (FDI) in enhancing the economic growth in Malaysia, and also the relationship between (FDI) and the economic growth in Malaysia. In this chapter of study, the main focus will be on research background, research objectives, research questions and also the significant of study.

Research Background

1.1.1 The Trend of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Flow in Malaysia

The relationship between the growths of FDI with countries has been a debatable issue for several decades. This has become an eye opener which agreed by (Karimi, Sharift and Yusop, 2009, p.2) which drive policymakers to engage in incentives such as export processing zone and tax incentive in order to attract FDI. However, the determinant of FDI in each country is different and failure to understand how a specific country can attract FDI will bring difficulties to changes in economy. In the case of Malaysia, in 2007 the economy was ranked at 29th largest economy in the world with gross domestic products that worth to be $357.9billion (World Bank, 2007). Despite the impact of many externalities such as, oil crises in 1970s, to downturn in electronic industry in 1980s, and majorly impact the Asian financial crisis in 1997s. According to (Ministry of Finance, 2006) the growth of economy in Malaysia was consistent from 1988 to 1996 and maintain the economic annual growth of 7-10% per annum, by the year 2005 the main source of growth was the manufacturing sector whose share of GDP increase to 31.4 percent.

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The key driver for the ongoing performance of Malaysia’s economy is the result of policy reform which is a determinant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which enhances the economic growth of Malaysia. The evidence here can be seen by (Ministry of Finance, 2001) introducing the Investment Incentives Act 1968, free trade zones in early 1970s, and export incentives with open policy in 1980s has led to an establishment of FDI in the 1980s. One good example to show that the government has use policy as a determinant of FDI would be, The Promotion of Investment Act (PIA) 1986 which gave a larger percentage of foreign equity ownership in order to attract FDI to enhance economy of Malaysia.

Figure 1: FDI inflow into Malaysia, (in million dollars) 1970-2004

This graph illustrates the FDI inflow from 1970-2004 in Malaysia. This research shown that (Har, Teo and Yee, 2008, p.12) FDI stock in Malaysia grew tremendously from 1970s to 1990s, despite fluctuation between the years, and the growth of FDI has been promising from $94 million dollars in 1970s to $2.6 billion by 1990s.

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