Penang has consistently ranked among the top investment destinations in the country over the last five decades. As of 2018, MIDA approved a total of 4,084 manufacturing projects with investments worth RM129.1 billion for Penang. These projects have created over 516,600 job opportunities, mainly in electrical and electronics products, basic metal products, scientific and measuring equipment, machinery and equipment and transport equipment.
Approved foreign investments in the manufacturing sector totalled RM90.4 billion, accounting for 70 per cent of total investments approved for the State, while domestic investments assuming the remaining 30 per cent or RM 38.7 billion. Last year alone, a total of 108 manufacturing projects to be located in Penang worth RM5.8 billion were approved by MIDA.
“Since the arrival of the eight pioneer foreign companies also known as the ‘8 Samurais’ in Penang, in the 1970s, the state continues to have a strong presence of multi-national corporations (MNCs) and Large Local Corporations (LLCs). Companies such as WD Media (Malaysia), Intel Technology, Jabil Circuits, B Braun Medical Industries, Osram Opto Semiconductor, HP Malaysia, Vitrox Technologies, Inari Group, Southern Steel, and DSEM System Technology hold much promise for business collaborations and opportunities,” said Arham Abdul Rahman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) of MIDA during the MIDA Invest Series: Unfolding States’ Business Potential held at the MIDA headquarters in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The Invest Series event which highlighted the comparative and competitive advantages of investing in Penang featured a presentation by YBhg. Dato’ Seri Lee Kah Choon, Special Investment Adviser to Chief Minister of Penang. The event attracted over 250 participants ranging from embassies, business chambers and associations as well as industry players from the services and manufacturing sector.
During the event, Arham also highlighted the programmes introduced by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry as follows:
i. The Readiness Assessment programme whereby up to 500 qualified SMEs can be part of the programme for free;
ii. A loan guarantee programme for companies to invest in automation and modernisation;
iii. The double tax deduction initiative to improve the employability of graduates and Industry 4.0 related skill competencies,
“MIDA currently facilitates Industry 4.0 related investments through schemes such as Tax Incentives, Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF), Automation Capital Allowance (Automation CA) and High Impact Fund (HIF). Multiple engagements with the business community are currently undertaken to highlight the opportunities that are available for companies,” said Arham.
The Deputy CEO of MIDA also said that taking into account that the various incentives and grants currently provided by the Government are insufficient to address the need of local companies, MIDA has established a dedicated team under the Investment Coordination Platform or ICP to assist local companies or SMEs to grow their businesses and investment portfolio. The ICP team works closely with equity and venture capital firms, corporate finance advisory firms, government agencies as well as local regulators and technology providers.