In the dynamic world of international commercial real estate investment, Malaysia has emerged as a strong beneficiary of changing Chinese investment patterns, according to a recently published report from Juwai IQI, a global real estate technology firm.
Chinese investors are increasingly directing their commercial real estate investments toward Southeast Asian countries, notably Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. This shift marks a significant change in the global investment landscape, with Malaysia securing an unprecedented third-ranked position among Chinese property investors in 2023.
Johor, Kuala Lumpur, and Selangor have been the top recipients of these investments within Malaysia. Johor’s developed economy and proximity to Singapore, along with its part in a trans-national metropolitan area hosting around six million people, make it a prime target for Chinese investment.
Kashif Ansari, co-founder and group CEO of Juwai IQI, expects increasing Chinese investment in Johor, especially with the nearing completion of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) link in 2026. He predicts that an additional 50,000 residents could adopt cross-border lifestyles by 2030, significantly boosting demand for commercial real estate.
Johor’s links to Singapore already form the foundation for much of its Chinese investment. This funding is set to increase, with the RTS link poised to spur further investment from Singapore, luring more Singaporeans and Chinese investors with the high returns, lifestyle, and affordability offered by Johor.
Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, Malaysia’s most significant urban and business hubs, are also popular with Chinese commercial property investors. This investment surge led to Malaysia becoming a top-five destination for Chinese commercial property investors in 2022.
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Despite global economic uncertainties, Ansari is optimistic about Malaysia’s economic future, forecasting a gross domestic product growth of 4.7% in 2023. China’s role as Malaysia’s second-largest export market, behind Singapore, underscores this evolving relationship. As per the Department of Statistics Malaysia, in March 2023, China accounted for about 13% of all exports, totaling RM16.7 billion, and 20.5% of imports, valued at RM21.2 billion.
With Malaysia working to reduce red tape and bolster its economy, it is set to continue attracting robust Chinese investment, shaping a promising future for both countries.
Based on information from Malay Mail