Malaysia’s aerospace ecosystem robust, strong but faces challenges: Tusas CEO - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Malaysia’s aerospace ecosystem robust, strong but faces challenges: Tusas CEO

Malaysia’s aerospace ecosystem robust, strong but faces challenges: Tusas CEO

18 Jun 2024

Malaysia is poised to become Southeast Asia’s aerospace industry hub, driven by a robust ecosystem, but faces challenges in production capacity, talent and product development, particularly in manufacturing, according to Turkish Aerospace Malaysia (Tusas) CEO Mohd Shahiman Sulaiman.

“The ecosystem here is very solid. The supply chain is very strong. So that means ease of doing business in that nature is good. This is also something, I believe, that sparked why Malaysia is talking about design avionics more. Because designing aircraft computers, actually Malaysia is the only country in Southeast Asia that has that capability,” he told SunBiz in an interview.

Furthermore, Mohd Shahiman noted that Malaysia has strengths in designing capability as well as system integration.

“Malaysia has proven capabilities in design. Malaysia’s strength lies in its design capability. Whatever it is, car, robot, aircraft, Malaysia can design it,” he said.

He also highlighted that one of the reasons why avionics is one of Tusas’ core areas here is because of Malaysia’s strength in electronics, as it is a 50-year-old industry in the country.

However, Mohd Shahiman said, what is lacking is the opportunity for commercialisation.

What Malaysia needs, he added, is anchor companies to create final products for the global market.

“Where does the design go? Where is it sold? This has always been a limitation in Malaysia. One of the ways we can address this is through the presence of anchor companies. What makes a product successfully sell in the market? You need the capability for commercialisation,” he said.

Mohd Shahiman pointed out that robust demand for military and commercial aircraft is a driving force for the industry. “The demand is here. We have substantial backlogs to deliver to customers,“ he said.

However, he said the current industry capacity in Malaysia needs substantial scaling up to meet the demand. “And in scaling up in aero manufacturing, what is limiting Malaysia is the production capacity.”

Mohd Shahiman also highlighted the critical need for skilled designers and engineers, citing the shortage of local talent as a hurdle.

However, he said he remains optimistic about the future of the industry despite these challenges.

There is tremendous potential for growth with the right investments and strategic initiatives, Mohd Shahiman said.

“With the right policies and investments, Malaysia can become a significant player in the global aerospace industry,” he affirmed.

Malaysia launched the Malaysian Aerospace Industry Blueprint 2030, an initiative with the goal of positioning the country as Southeast Asia’s most significant aerospace market. The blueprint aims to address the gaps, focusing on areas such as maintenance, repair and overhaul; aerospace manufacturing; and, eventually, engineering services and system integration.

Malaysia is currently home to more than 200 aerospace companies, international and local.

Source: The Sun