The machinery & equipment (M&E) industry assumes strategic importance to Malaysia’s economy with its cross-cutting linkages across all economic segments. However, given the evolution of technology in the industry is moving at such a relentless pace, this presents Malaysian business leaders with challenges as well as opportunities to create new business ventures. For companies that are bold to embrace these new and upcoming technologies, there are a plethora of opportunities in robotics application, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and smart technologies that are waiting to be explored.
Therefore, the Malaysian investment Development Authority (MIDA) seeks to grow and develop the M&E industry within the country through the promotion and active exploration of collaborative opportunities between local industry players and international M&E companies.
This is in line with the 11th Malaysia Plan, as the M&E industry has been identified as one of the catalytic subsectors to spur the country’s economic transformation to greater prosperity.
For the period of January-December 2018, the M&E industry illustrated commendable investment performance with 83 projects approved and investments valued at RM2.187 billion. The majority of these investments were from domestic sources, amounting to RM1.486 billion or 68%, where else foreign investments amounted to RM701.6 million (32%). The approved projects are expected to generate a total of 3,578 employment opportunities for the country. Additionally, the M&E industry continued to show stellar progress of 24 projects approved in the first quarter of 2019, with investments of RM 318 million.
As part of MIDA’s on-going efforts to realise the vision of further enhancing the competitiveness of the M&E industry, the Industrial Linkage Programme specifically tailored for local M&E players was held in Italy on 16th – 19th June 2019 in conjunction with TO-ASEAN Business Days 2019. The programme aimed to promote the collaboration between companies to further adopt advance and new emerging technologies that will be a game-changer for the M&E industry in Malaysia.
Mr Arham Abdul Rahman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO I) of MIDA was invited as a speaker on ‘ASEAN Business Opportunities: Investment Opportunities in Malaysia’ for the conference. He highlighted that South-East Asia is an attractive market for Italian companies and strategic partnerships between Malaysian and Italian companies with the most advanced technology would give a competitive edge in the market.
The Malaysian delegation members had two sessions of Business-To-Business (B2B) meetings with Italian industry leaders and trade associations. The delegation also visited notable Italian M&E companies to explore possible gaps and opportunities for Malaysian companies to participate and collaborate with, for future projects or to be part of their global supply chain.
As local companies are already serving as contract manufacturers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), there has been a notable investment and upskilling activities undertaken through R&D, engineering design, innovation and system integration as well as proprietary machinery and equipment development for global exports. This has directly increased Malaysia’s appeal as a choice destination for multinational companies seeking to outsource their manufacturing processes.
Coupled with the efforts of local engineering supporting companies to provide consistent quality of production and on-time delivery, Malaysia has developed a robust supply chain, consisting of both global and local industry players, supplying to global companies involved in various industries, including companies such as ON Semiconductor, Foxconn, Jabil Circuit, Celestica, Benchmark Electronics, Mattel and First Solar. As such, the industry has much potential for further development and growth.
The areas of interest amongst the delegates during the programme centred around advanced robotics and automation, advanced human-machine interaction, machine-to-machine communications and integrated systems, vast troves of data and boosted connectivity, as well as talent development in the area of robotics to modernise manufacturing and to increase industrial competitiveness.
Undeniably, the Industrial Linkage Programme has successfully led to the on-going business and technical engagement between the Malaysian companies and Italian companies to further explore future collaborations. As such, it is essential that Malaysian and Italian companies to continue to explore potential business opportunities between both countries and establish strategic partnership to close and capture market gaps within M&E industry in the Europe and the Asia Pacific regions.
MIDA trusts that this Industrial Linkage Programme is a vital stepping stone to drive greater collaboration among producers, suppliers, technical institutions and other stakeholders along the M&E value chain in the country; and looks forward to more fruitful engagements in the future.