Despite sentiments pointing to a bleak economic outlook for next couple of years beginning
2018 across the globe, coupled with the transition period of government in Malaysia, Selangor Menteri Besar Yang Amat Berhormat Tuan Amirudin Bin Shari remains
upbeat of the State’s economic performance.
“Selangor is still the engine of Malaysian economy. Year after year, it has never failed to contribute the biggest slice of cake to the nation’s GDP compared to other states,” he says enthusiastically.
In 2018 Selangor contributed around 23.7 percent to the GDP, one percent higher than the previous year. The achievement of RM18.9 million of investment last year – both foreign direct investment (FDI) and domestic investments – the highest in 25 years, shows that
Selangor is one of the attractive locations for investment in Malaysia.
“This of course, is due to Selangor’s strategic geographic location, logistics and infrastructure. Geographically, the State is located close to the country’s capital city Kuala Lumpur and in terms of logistics, it boasts two international airports and one of the busiest seaports in Southeast Asia.
“The State’s road network and Internet connectivity is another factor for the success,”
he says proudly, adding that to date Selangor has 95 percent Internet coverage. “With the latest technology for industrialisation and best road network as well as infrastructure which helps to boost traditional trade activities in place, Selangor isthe economic powerhouse of Malaysia,” he explains.
Reiterating his confidence in the State’s economy, the Menteri Besar hopes Selangor can be one of the main economic players in the region by 2025. “We have set an investment target of RM10 billion for this year and up till July we have already attracted RM6 billion investment. This shows we are on the right track to hit the RM10 billion conservative target.”
BECOMING GLOBAL TRADING HUB
On Selangor’s aspiration of becoming a global trading hub, Amirudin says Selangor is ready. “We have already met the most important criteria which is infrastructure. Two of Malaysia’s seaports are in Selangor and we are planning to have one more in the future. We also have 95 percent Internet coverage in the State and what is needed now is the increase of bandwidth.”
The elated Menteri Besar says that even the most remote area in Selangor such as Hulu Selangor enjoyed good Internet connection with business owners adopting epayment for business transactions.
He went on to say that Selangor is also ready in terms of culture, mindset and intellectual
capacity to become an attraction of the world.
“Being a moderate state that provides a conducive environment for people to live harmoniously and with 160 institutes of higher learning and universities producing 40,000 graduates every year, Selangor is the perfect place for trading and economic activities. On top of this, we also have technical and vocational institutes which produce skilled workers, making us ready in terms of human resource. To be more ready, thus far we have allocated RM75 million technical and vocational budget to train existing workers to become skilled workers and the sum is expected to be increased to RM100 million in 2020. Therefore, we have chosen ‘Gateway To ASEAN’ as the tagline for the Selangor International Business Summit (SIBS) which was held from 10th to 13th October this year.”
Amirudin proudly says, although year 2025 is the official target to fully become a global trading hub, Selangor is already attracting global investors. However, beginning 2016, Selangor has been focusing on certain niche areas – the five pillars that forms the clusters for SIBS – electrical & electronics, machinery equipment, transport equipment, food and beverages manufacturing and life sciences.
EXPECTATION FOR SIBS
SIBS started with the Selangor International Expo in 2015. According to the Menteri Besar, the event was launched to introduce Selangor to the eyes of global investors and the business community. “Although we are the economic powerhouse for Malaysia, people often relate Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur and other states, through SIBS we want to establish the identity of Selangor as a representative of Malaysia in the global business community.
“I think this is the best platform for Selangor to introduce herself as who it is. We had a humble start to introduce ourself as a trading hub and a centre for investment in Malaysia. We want to assure investors that everything (all kind of business activities) can be started in Selangor. We want to show our readiness to become a big player or challenger in the global market. For example, in 2018, SIBS occupied one floor in MITEC and now have grown to three floors this year. The number business transactions and participants
have also grown year to year. This shows that the event is a good initiative by Invest Selangor Berhad.”
Adding on he said, this year’s event is very special as for the first time, SIBS has managed to engage few federal ministers to participate.
To put in a nutshell, he says this is a good sign that Selangor is recognised by the federal government and the business community locally and globally. “The SIBS is not just about economic activity but cultural and a presentation of Malaysia to the global eyes.”