Malaysia’s central bank has approved the first of a planned $1 billion in hotels supply chain overhauls aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing costs.

The central bank will issue permits to foreign investors for the construction of hotel accommodation facilities, including new hotels, to boost the country’s hotel sector by up to $1bn.

The Central Bank has issued around 20 permits for hotel construction since last December, which are due to be issued in 2018, the central bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

The move comes as the country prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.

Malaysia has a long history of hotel construction and the construction industry is estimated to be worth over $100 billion in the country.

In 2017, the country had the world’s second-largest hotel occupancy, behind the United States.

According to the Malaysian Tourism Corporation, the tourism industry in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, is expected to generate between $4 billion and $5 billion for the country by 2022.

Malay-based investment firm Watsa Malaysia Investments (Watsa) is financing the new construction projects.

The company said the first phase of the project would be completed by 2019.

The Central Bank also approved a $300 million loan for hotels, as well as $200 million for hotel rehabilitation and rehabilitation for the hotels that have been damaged during construction.

In addition, Watsas development of the new hotel facilities will include a new office and restaurant space for its hotels and restaurants, and a hotel concierge and guest services office, the Central Bank said.