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Malaysia: Asia’s Centre of Excellence

>Services>Malaysia: Asia’s Centre of Excellence

MIDA Insights – Services

Malaysia: Asia’s Centre of Excellence

With the rising trend  of establishments of Centres of Excellence (COE) in Asia among multinational corporations (MNCs), Malaysia increasingly emerges as a popular choice of location for these operations. For many years, Malaysia has played an important role as a Regional Hub, offering strategic operations location within South East Asia, robust industrial ecosystem and a talented and multilingual workforce.

As many MNCs in Malaysia adopted international standards for operational quality and productivity,  these companies train and equip local employees with critical knowledge in key skill areas, particularly in science and technology. This has driven them to make Malaysia their COE to lead strategic initiatives such as training, research and quality management in the region.

Huawei’s training centre in Malaysia is a case in point. In 2012, the MNC established its Malaysia Global Training Centre (MGTC) in Cyberjaya to act as  the worldwide principal focal point for English – medium training. The MGTC is Huawei’s first training centre outside of China, leveraging on Malaysia’s multilingual workforce to conduct training programmes for their stakeholders, represented by university students, engineers and Huawei clients.

The establishment of MGTC  has significant spillover to the ICT sector in Malaysia. The centre has trained over 10,000 individuals in the latest technology areas such as 5G and cloud computing. Additionally, MGTC’s incorporation of Huawei’s South Pacific Regional Customer Solutions and its Innovation and Integration Experience Center (CSIC) supports technology and knowledge transfer locally. These systems act as the company’s platform to showcase its innovations to regional clients. Huawei Malaysia also actively collaborates with local ICT service providers and academic institutions to further develop ICT solutions for various applications.

ExxonMobil is another example  of MNCs which operates its COE in Malaysia. In 2004, ExxonMobil began centralising IT support functions to serve its related companies in the ASEAN region. Over the years, ExxonMobil Malaysia has moved up the value chain, phasing out generic and repetitive IT functions while assuming Tier 1 IT roles that involve higher-level leadership, analytical and technical skillsets.

Today, ExxonMobil Malaysia is  a full-fledged COE, providing high-end chemical engineering and engineering computing services to support its projects in Asia. The company plays a remarkable role in training local talents in the oil and gas field and currently employs over 300 engineers with many being deployed overseas.

There are also many companies  undertaking logistics and distribution activities which have established their COE in Malaysia. These centres often act as a platform to showcase best practices in supply chain management and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies in their operations.

A leading manufacturer of  automotive vehicles has recently invested heavily to transform its Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) in Malaysia into a world-class logistics hub.

The RDC will be the Group’s first warehouse in the Asia Pacific  to adopt smart technologies such as real-time warehouse management systems, robot pickers and glove scanners. With this RDC, the company will lead by example, highlighting the benefits of Industry 4.0 to improve productivity and efficiency, further encouraging local logistics partners to follow suit and invest in smart technologies.

As Malaysia’s principal investment promotion  and development agency, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is attracting more companies to set up their COEs in the country. Eligible companies, particularly those committed to train local employees in new areas of knowledge and technology as well as to develop the capabilities of local partners within their supply chain are encouraged to leverage on the readily available facilities provided by the Government and make Malaysia their COE in Asia.