KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIAN premier Najib Razak on Monday announced the first projects of a near US$450 billion (S$581 billion) plan to lure foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country over the coming decade.

The nine confirmed projects - worth 10 billion dollars - come a month after Mr Najib unveiled a Economic Transformation Plan aimed at creating 3.3 million jobs and propelling the country towards developed-nation status over the next 10 years.

'The high quality of investments that we want are coming back,' Mr Najib told reporters at the launch of the plan, adding that the road map aimed at doubling the country's gross national income has got off to a strong start.

'Things are picking up in respect to FDIs and domestic investments,' he added.

The Southeast Asian nation is moving to reverse a sharp decline in foreign direct investment, which fell 81 per cent to 1.4 billion dollars in 2009 from 7.3 billion in 2008.

'We need to take the high skill, high income route quickly to become and remain competitive in the global economy. Transformation is critical. Failure is not an option,' he added.

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