Dato’ Azman said that currently, the company boasts a total of 159 employees whereby 99% are Malaysians. Being a knowledge and research intensive company, Abbott requires highly skilled and technical talents such as engineers, scientists and quality experts. This project necessitates experts with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of medical technology and devices. This will result in a demand for local graduates in this field. The project will also involve R&D activities focusing on cost improvement, automation, and modification to process methodology to improve yield. Abbott will bring along much benefit to the country as the company is expected to increase its workforce up to 500 employees and 95% of its products will be for the export market, whereby US and the EU are among its major export destination.
“MIDA sees this USD60 million project as a catalyst to boost the development of the medical device ecosystem in the country. It is poised to attract not just players in the medical device industry but also pharmaceutical and food supplement companies,” he added.
The medical device industry is expected to greatly contribute towards Malaysia’s aspiration to be a high income nation by the year 2020. Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, it has been identified as one of the high potential growth industries due to its strong linkages to other manufacturing subsectors as well as capabilities and potential to deliver more complex and high value added products. The medical devices made in Malaysia are of high standards and accepted by hospitals worldwide. To date, Malaysia has more than 200 medical devices manufacturers. Besides Abbott, the country is also privileged to host Haemonetics (USA), B. Braun Medical (Germany), St. Jude Medical (USA), CR Bard (USA), CIBA Vision (Switzerland) and Toshiba Medical Systems (Japan). In 2015, MIDA approved a total of 30 projects in the medical device industry with investments of RM1.8 billion. Last Monday, Boston Scientific, a global medical technology leader for more than 35 years, held the groundbreaking ceremony of its regional manufacturing hub for medical devices in Penang.