The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that digitalisation and automation is a necessity to ensure business sustainability. At the webinar session entitled “COVID-19: A Catalyst for Malaysia’s Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0”, organised by the British Malaysia Chamber of Commerce’s (BMCC) webinar on 22 May 2020, Mr. Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, Executive Director of Investment Promotion, MIDA updated the participants on investment opportunities in the country and Malaysia’s journey towards embracing the new normal with IR4.0.
The session also featured speakers from the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and Serba Dinamik. They shared their insights on IR4.0 and Malaysia’s growing capabilities in the field.
Emerging Opportunities Post COVID-19 in Malaysia
With the reopening of the economy, the Government is drawing up the Economic Recovery Plan to support local investors, retain existing investors and attract new potential investors to Malaysia.
This poses exciting prospects as the COVID-19 pandemic is shaping a new generation of manufacturers, one who is attentive to the emerging opportunities arising from the low-touch economy.
As a dynamic country, Malaysia is well-positioned to seize opportunities within the low-touch economy. New economic opportunities include:
- reorientation of the global supply chains from low efficiency to resiliency;
- higher demand for medical products to enhance healthcare capacity; and
- greater reliance on technology to enable higher consumption of digital services.
Embracing Lighthouse Concept in Malaysia
Notwithstanding the current business climate, the Government continues to encourage companies to embrace Lighthouse Concept, ie. to engage in innovative and productive activities such as the adoption of automation and digitalisation of business processes. This includes the call for companies to leverage the various incentives and facilities offered to embrace Industry 4.0.
UK Investments in Malaysia
The United Kingdom (UK) and Malaysia have had a long, fruitful bilateral relation. UK is among the major investors in Malaysia with 467 manufacturing projects implemented across the country, accounting for RM10.16 billion (USD2.97 billion) in investments. These projects have also created 39,338 jobs.
In 2019 only, MIDA approved UK investments of RM1.7 billion (USD431.7 billion). An example of a recent investment from the UK is Smith+Nephew that will establish its high-tech orthopaedics manufacturing facility in Pulau Pinang with over RM1.0 billion in investments.
As Malaysia’s fundamentals remain intact, Malaysia is expected to attract more quality investments from the UK.