Reports: Over RM4b investments from China, almost 40,000 new jobs created

Jerry Choong
An employee counts Chinese yuan banknotes at a Bank of China branch in Hefei, Anhui province March 10, 2010. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Investors from China have poured around RM4.3 billion into Malaysia’s housing construction and job creation, according to a report by a Chinese international property portal and local real estate agency network.

China’s Juwai.com and Malaysia’s IQI Global said the new economics report also found out as much as 37,800 jobs in the country were created.

The data also revealed that mainland Chinese buyers account for US$2 billion (RM8.4 billion) of total Malaysia residential property sales, and that they also account for 12.1 per cent of the total transaction value but only 0.4 per cent of total transaction share in 2018.

Approximately US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) of new residential building construction in Malaysia is targeted at foreign and Chinese investors, with Chinese buyers drive a significant multiplier effect as the impact of their investment spreads to other sectors, such as retail, hospitality, manufacturing, banking, insurance, and transportation.

IQI Global’s group chief executive officer Kashif Ansari said the report was conducted due to the ongoing debate in Malaysia about whether foreign investment is good or bad for the country.

“We wanted to find out for sure, so we put our researchers on the task. It turns out that foreign property buyers have a positive economic impact that goes well beyond the purchase price they pay and also well beyond the related taxes and fees,” he said in a statement.

Kashif said real impact of mainland Chinese investment is probably much larger than what their researchers were able to estimate.

“Malaysia is not the only country that is vigorously debating the benefits of foreign real estate buyers. What makes us special is that it has a very vigorous and effective regime of policies that direct foreign buying into those parts of the property market that most benefit the country.

“In the United States, for example, there are virtually no restrictions on offshore buyers. The government of Malaysia has much more control over foreign property buyers than does the government in the United States and many other countries,” he said.

Juwai.com executive chairman Georg Chmiel said the report focuses exclusively on Chinese buyers, and that the final number is undoubtedly higher if buyers from Singapore, United Kingdom, Australia, and other locations were added in.

“Mainland Chinese made 16.5 per cent more enquiries on Malaysian property in the third quarter than in the same quarter of 2018. Buying enquiries have declined from their peak in the first quarter but remain above the average level of 2018.

“In the first half of 2019, Malaysia was the fifth most popular country for Chinese property buying inquiries in the world but by total Chinese property investment in value, Malaysia ranks lower. In the Asia-Pacific, Thailand, Japan, and Australia all rank ahead of Malaysia as the three most popular destinations for Chinese buyers. Canada is fourth in the global ranking,” he said.

Chmiel noted that Malaysia is especially appealing to buyers motivated by lifestyle, retirement, or education.

“It has affordable standards of living, high quality of life, medical facilities, and accessible educational institutions. Malaysia consistently ranks among the best places to live.

“Mainland Chinese who buy in Malaysia create local economic growth and jobs. They pay local taxes and fees and boost the tourism industry. It is very good for Malaysia,” he said.

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