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Malaysia moves up to 12 spot in global competitiveness ranking

Malaysia has moved up three notches to12th spot among 60 economies in the World Competitiveness Ranking 2014 released today by the Switzerland-based IMD World Competitiveness Centre.

IMD World Competitiveness Center Director, Professor Arturo Bris told the New Straits Times that the improved ranking would renew interest and attract investments to the country.

Malaysia has improved its openness to foreign markets and attracted capital and investment at increasing rates, Bris added.

Among countries in Asia, Malaysia is ranked third after Singapore and Hong Kong, moving up one position from 4th placing last year and ahead of developed economies like Taiwan (overall 13th), Japan (overall 21st) and South Korea (overall 26th). Malaysia is also ahead of China which came in at 23rd placing and India at no.44 overall.

Within ASEAN, Malaysia is ranked second after Singapore, followed by Thailand (overall 29), Indonesia (overall 37) and the Philippines (overall 42).

Among countries with a population above 20 million, Malaysia moved up to 4th position from 5th last year.

The overall ranking took into consideration over 300 criteria, two-thirds of which are based on statistical indicators and one-third on an exclusive IMD survey of 4,300 global executives.

The criteria are grouped under four categories economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.

The United States remained as the most competitive economy in the world this year, followed by Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sweden among the top five in the ranking.

Meanwhile, the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed in a statement, said the 12th position was Malaysia’s best performance in the past four years and reflected the progress of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

Source: NST Business Times and The Star 22 May 2014 and IMD website

Malaysia moves up to 12 spot in global competitiveness ranking


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Malaysia emerges amongst the ASEAN-5 as the economy that will likely experience the fastest growth in 2014, according to RHB Research Institute.

Malaysia emerges amongst the ASEAN-5 as the economy that will likely experience the fastest growth in 2014, according to RHB Research Institute.

ASEAN-5 comprises Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Malaysia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase to 5.4 per cent in 2014, after recording a growth rate of 4.7 per cent in 2013.

Private investment, mainly through domestic demand, will continue to propel this growth, even though increasing at a more moderate pace as a result of rising costs.

“An improvement in external demand for the country’s exports, will also contribute to the country’s increased growth,” the institute noted its economic report today.

Real exports are set to pick-up pace to 4.5 per cent in 2014, from -0.3 per cent in 2013, due to steady demand from the developed economies and sustained growth in the regional economies.

Projected consumer spending will be around 6.0 per cent in 2014, after increasing at a relatively strong pace of 7.6 per cent in 2013.

Consumer spending will likely be sustained, underlined by stable employment conditions, rising consumerism, high savings, as well as continued wage growth, said the report.

Fiscal deficit will be reduced to 3.5 per cent of GDP in 2014, compared with 3.9 per cent in 2013.

The reduction in the country’s fiscal deficit is attributed to increased revenue collection, stronger economic growth, efficient spending and the implementation of expenditure reforms.

Inflation may increase to between 3.0-3.4 per cent in 2014, up from 2.1 per cent in 2013, taking into account the expected fuel price increase in the second half of 2014, forecasts the  institute.

Adapted from BERNAMA, 30 April 2014

Posted on : 07 May 2014

Malaysia: Fastest growing economy in ASEAN-5 in 2014


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Malaysia moves up five notches to 19th spot to join the world’s twenty most business-friendly locations among 82 countries surveyed in the latest Business Environment Ranking and Index 2014 by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The EIU ranks Malaysia at 19th position for the five-year period from 2014 to 2018 as against 24th position from 2009 to 2013.

The ranking is based not only on historical conditions but also on expectations about conditions prevailing over the next five years, the report said.

Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong remain as the top three most business-friendly locations.

Malaysian Investment Development Authority Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Azman Mahmud said the ranking is a reflection of the continuous improvement in the delivery of public services and overall efficiency of the government machinery.

It also reflected the government’s commitment in its initiatives to strengthen Malaysia’s competitiveness to become a developed nation by 2020.

The report also indicated that market opportunities in Malaysia would improve, attributing it mainly to the government’s efforts to increase private sector investments.

The improved global ranking shows that the government’s reforms under the Government Transformation Programmes will overcome many of the structural and political impediments to the country’s target to transform into a high-income nation by 2020, it said.

The EIU also noted that Asia’s best performers appeared to have several similar factors, ie a favourable policy environment, particularly for finance and foreign investment and competition policies that encompass international best practice.

Meanwhile, for the first quarter of the year, Malaysia registered a 52.7% jump in investments in the manufacturing sector alone, securing some RM17.1 billion, compared with the same quarter last year.

Source: NST Business Times 18 June 2014, EIU and MIDA

Posted on : 23 June 2014

Malaysia among world’s twenty most business-friendly locations


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Malaysia retained its third place ranking in A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Global Services Location Index (GSLI) for offshoring destination of choice, released last week.

For the 2014 GSLI, the global consulting firm analyses and ranks the top 51 countries worldwide as the preferred destinations for providing outsourcing activities, including IT services and support, contact centers and back-office support. Its analysis is based on metrics in three categories: financial attractiveness, business environment, and people skills and availability.

A.T Kearney Malaysia Partner and Managing Director, Joon Ooi said despite the relatively smaller pool of talents as compared with India and China, which have been ranked in top and second spots respectively, Malaysia, outranks both countries in terms of ease of doing business and is financially more attractive than China.

The consulting firm also noted Malaysia’s competitive advantages in its political stability and multilingual environment.

Malaysia, Ooi said, offers an offshore destination of choice for companies with mid-sized demand and a lower risk appetite.

ASEAN countries also featured prominently in the survey with five countries being ranked among the top 15 countries in the ranking. Besides Malaysia, Indonesia came in at 5th position followed by Thailand at 6th spot, Philippines, 7th and Vietnam, 12th.

Source: Bernama 22 Sept 2014 and AT Kearney website

Posted on : 22 September 2014

Malaysia is 3rd top offshore location in A.T. Kearney’s global ranking


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The Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), a unit under the Prime Minister’s Department, has been listed as one of the world’s top 20 leading government innovation teams by United Kingdom innovation foundation Bloomberg Philanthropies and Nesta in its latest report titled i-teams.

PEMANDU is among just four Asian teams which made the list. The other three Asian teams were from Singapore, South Korea and Australia.

One of PEMANDU’s achievements outlined in the report was the unit’s contribution that led to a 35 % drop in reported street crime within a year in the country.

The report, unveiled on Monday in London, came about following Bloomberg Philanthropies and Nesta’s comprehensive assessment of government innovation teams across six continents. It also reveals that innovation requires dedicated capacity, specific skills, methods, partnerships, and consistent political support and how these elements have been combined successfully to achieve impressive results.

Nesta Deputy Chief Executive, Philip Colligan, who was a co-author of the report said governments have been responsible for among the greatest innovations in modern history.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the global recognition accorded PEMANDU shows that Malaysia is on the right track to become a developed and a high-income nation by 2020.

The Prime Minister said PEMANDU which was set up in 2009, has been tasked to support the implementation the National Transformation Programme through the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

The GTP is focused on modernising the public service while the ETP sets to attract private investments both foreign and domestic into the country.

Source: New Straits Times 3 July 2014 and Nesta website

Posted on : 03 July 2014

PEMANDU among world’s top 20 leading Government innovation teams


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Malaysia reinforced its regional standing in corporate governance, based on the recently released biennial Corporate Governance Watch 2014 report.

According to the report by the Asian Corporate Governance Association, in cooperation with CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, Malaysia achieved an overall score of 58 per cent in 2014, compared with 49 per cent in 2007. Malaysia maintained its fourth position ranking in the region.

Malaysia was ahead of Taiwan, India, Korea, China, Philippines and Indonesia. The top three were Hong Kong and Singapore (first) and Japan (third).

Highlighted in the report were Malaysia’s continued and determined efforts in ensuring governance reforms, resulting in it becoming the only country in the Asia Pacific Region assessed that had constantly improved its scores in each of the last four surveys.

The report cited Malaysia’s consistent improvements included corporate governance culture, rules and practices, enforcement, accounting and auditing.

Malaysia’s progress was ascribed to the recently launched Malaysian Code for Institutional Investors- the first in ASEAN and second in emerging markets, voluntary poll voting by several companies and improved communication by corporate Malaysia.

These outcomes resulted from the implementation of recommendations under the Corporate Governance Blueprint launched by the Securities Commission in 2011.

Malaysia’s Securities Commission’s Audit Oversight Board was acknowledged in the report as “one of the better organized and transparent audit regulators in the region”.

Source: Adapted from NST, 9 October 2014 and ACGA Report 2014

Posted on : 09 October 2014

Higher score for Malaysia in corporate governance


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ARCADIS, a global leader in natural and built asset design and consultancy, has ranked Malaysia 7th among 41 countries in its 2014 Global Infrastructure Investment Index (GIII).

The index, which was released yesterday, assessed the countries based on their attractiveness to investors in infrastructure. Among the factors that were taken into consideration were the ease of doing business in each market, tax rates, GDP per capita, government policy, the quality of the existing infrastructure and the availability of debt finance.

Rob Mooren, ARCADIS Global Director of Infrastructure, in the company’s press release said: “Good infrastructure is important for the long term economic development of a country. Many governments are struggling to finance infrastructure investments. As traditional debt markets are now harder to access, governments need to find alternative finance and agree to progressing projects. By encouraging private finance into infrastructure, governments can remain globally competitive and meet their social and economic objectives.”

Singapore, which topped the GIII, and Malaysia are the only two countries in Southeast Asia being ranked among the top ten most attractive countries for infrastructure investment in 2014.

Source: Bernama 23 Sept 2014 and ARCADIS’s press release on GIII

Posted on : 23 September 2014

Malaysia is 7th most attractive country for infrastructure investment


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Malaysia has surged to the fifth spot over the past decade from 20th position, according to the latest world talent ranking by IMD, a top – notched business school in Switzerland in the new IMD World Talent Report 2014.

Malaysia has also moved up four notches from 2013 and is the only country in Asia among the top ten countries in the 2014 ranking. Overall, Switzerland topped the list followed by Denmark, Germany and Finland. Ireland is ranked sixth followed by Netherlands, Canada, Sweden and Norway, completing the top ten spots.

The new IMD report also identifies the most talent-competitive countries based on calculation of historical World Talent Rankings for each year from 2005 to 2014 and these are defined as those that ranked in the top 10 for five or more years during the ten-year period.

The report, which covered 60 countries, took into account a country’s ability to develop, attract and retain talent for companies that operate there. The report looked into 20 indicators within three key areas: investment and development in home-grown talent; appeal, which is a country’s ability to retain home-grown talent and attract talent from overseas; and readiness, an indication of a country’s ability to fulfil market demands with its available talent pool.

Under the investment and development factor, Denmark led the pack followed by Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Sweden. For the appeal factor, Switzerland is the top ranked with Germany in second position followed by the United States, Ireland and Malaysia while in the readiness category, Switzerland has also been ranked first, ahead of Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates.

In unveiling the report on Thursday, IMD World Competitiveness Centre Director Prof Arturo Bris said “The best-ranked countries have a balanced approach between their commitment to education, investment in developing local talent and their ability to attract overseas talent.” Countries with smart talent strategies are also highly agile in developing policies that improve their talent pipeline, he added.

Among the five ASEAN countries surveyed, Malaysia has been placed ahead of Singapore at second position (overall 16) followed by Indonesia (overall 25), Thailand (overall 34) and Philippines (overall 41).

Source: NST Business Times 24 Nov 2014 and IMD website

Posted on : 24 November 2014

Malaysia ranks 5th in IMD world talent rankings


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Malaysia is ranked 18th out of 189 economies in the World Bank Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency report released yesterday.

For 2015 report, the World Bank has adopted a new methodology due to several limitations posed by the previous methodology such as loss of information, inability to track progress and inequality in business-friendliness measured in larger countries.

The new ranking is based on the distance to frontier (DTF) score rather than the percentile rank. The 10 areas of Doing Business covered in the report are starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

In the 2015 report, Malaysia has recorded improvements in five of the 10 areas covered in the report. Malaysia’s score edged up to 78.83 points from last year’s 76.84 points.

For starting a business, Malaysia recorded the closest DTF points of 94.9% and ranked 13th.The time required to start a business in Malaysia has been reduced to 5.5 days, from six days before, while on cost, referring to percentage of income per capita, it has been reduced to 7.2 % from the previous 7.6%.

On dealing with construction permits, the number of procedures has been reduced to 13 from 15 and it is now ranked 28th from 39th spot in 2014.

On getting electricity, cost in Malaysia has reduced to 46.3 % from 49.1 %.

On registering property, it now takes 13.5 days from the previous 14 days.

It now takes one year from 1.5 years previously, while recovery rate (cents on the dollar) improved to 81.3 from 48.9.

On resolving insolvency, Malaysia recorded a vast improvement in ranking from No. 65 to No. 36. It now takes one year from1.5 years before, while recovery rate (cents on the dollar) improved to 81.3 from 48.9.

Malaysia is ranked high at 5th spot in protecting minority investors and is at a commendable11th placing for trading across borders.

The Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed in a statement said that the ranking reaffirmed the country’s consistently competitive performance globally.

Noting the areas that need further improvements such as registering property, getting credit and enforcing contracts, the next high-level Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (PEMUDAH) will look into ways to address these areas, Malaysia Productivity Corporation Director-General Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain said after chairing a video conference with the Washington-based World Bank in Kuala Lumpur on the report, yesterday.

The World Bank Senior Country Economist for Malaysia, Frederico Gil Sander explained that the lower scores in some of the areas using the new DTF method did not mean a sudden decline in performance, citing the example of getting credit, as different things were being added in the 2015 evaluation.

Among ASEAN countries, Malaysia came in second after Singapore which was ranked at the top while ahead of other member countries with Thailand at No. 26, Vietnam (78), Philippines (95), Brunei (101), Indonesia (114), Cambodia (135), Lao PDR (148) and Myanmar (177).

Malaysia stayed ahead of advanced economies such as Taiwan (19th), Switzerland (20th), Netherlands (27th), Japan (29th) and also ahead of China (90th) and India (142th).

Overall, Singapore topped the list, followed by, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Source: Bernama 29 Oct 2014, New Straits Times and The Star 30 Oct 2014 and World Bank Doing Business 2015 Report

Posted on : 29 October 2014

Malaysia ranks 18th in World Bank Ranking


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Performance Management Delivery Unit Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Seri Idris Jala in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R Immelt said Malaysia “is a very important place for GE and it has been a fantastic privilege for the company to invest in the country”

In a press release in conjunction with the launch, Visal Leng, General Manager, AsiaPac, GE Oil & Gas said “Kuala Lumpur was selected as a location for the iCenter as a demonstration of GE’s commitment to the growth of the region’s oil and gas sector. Basing the iCenter, and GE Oil & Gas’ overall operations within the capital city made the most sense in terms of market stability, regional access and connectivity, quality of talent, cost of living, and strong infrastructure.”

GE’s Kuala Lumpur office not only serves as the ASEAN corporate headquarters but is also its Asia Pacific headquarters for Oil & Gas (O&G).

Industrial internet, a term coined by GE, refers to the integration of complex physical machinery with networked sensors and software to ingest data from machines, analyze it often in real-time, and use it to adjust operations. Leveraging on big data from intelligent machines and predictive analytics, its ‘Predictivity’ platform assists industry players particularly in the oil and gas sector meet the region’s growing energy needs, while managing operational and capital efficiency.

The iCenter in KL, is strategically linked with GE’s two other global centres in Florence, Italy and Houston, Texas. These centres set up in different time zones ensure round-the-clock monitoring and diagnostics services for GE’s installed fleet of turbomachinery for customers worldwide.

The iCenter is set to enhance rotating equipment availability, reliability and performance through Predictivity™ solutions and is manned by local engineers in line with the company’s commitment to support the growth of Malaysian talents.

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Deputy Chief Executive OLfficer, Datuk Phang Ah Tong, who was present at the launch, said GE’s latest investments reflected the company’s confidence in doing business in Malaysia.

Phang said the investments were in line with Malaysia’s aspiration to strengthen the oil and gas industrial cluster, noting that the center would complement the O&G eco-system offering critical support services to the oil and gas companies.

MIDA expects the setting up of the iCentre to provide the impetus to attract other major O&G players to build their base in Malaysia, he said.

Also present at the event were CEO of GE ASEAN, Stu Dean and the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, Joseph Y. Yun.

Source: Bernama 21 Oct, StarBiz 23 Oct 2014 and MIDA

GE launches industrial Internet solutions and opens third global iCentre in KL


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MIDA had approved investments amounting to RM53.2 billion for the first seven months of this year, compared with investments of RM52.1 billion in 2013.

Against this backdrop, MIDA is optimistic of achieving another record for approved investments in the manufacturing sector in 2014.

MIDA’s Senior Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Investment Ecosystem, Dato’ Wan Hashim Wan Jusoh said he was buoyant that MIDA would continue to attract more domestic and foreign investments in the remaining months of 2014.

“Up to 42 per cent or RM22.4 billion was from domestic sources,” remarked Wan Hashim, after officiating at a Seminar on domestic investments themed, “Bumiputera Development and Financial Assistance”, in Kuala Lumpur today.

The one-day event, which is part of MIDA’s outreach programmes to encourage and enhance the domestic investment initiatives, particularly to facilitate greater Bumiputera participation in the economy, attracted around 150 participants. MIDA organized the event in collaboration with the Bumiputera Manufacturers and Services Industry Association of Malaysia (PPIPBM).

Wan Hashim informed participants that investments this year were driven mainly by the electrical and electronics sector, as well as stronger contributions from the oil and gas sector, especially petrochemical and chemical-based products.

The petrochemical sector is rapidly developing due to the Pengerang Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project.

Meanwhile, Wan Hashim said the approved investments with Bumiputera participation from January-July 2014 period totalled RM2.1 billion in 52 projects.

Participants were also updated on the accessibility of the RM1 billion Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF) available for local entrepreneurs.

“Malaysian entrepreneurs should leverage on all programmes and facilities provided by the government to expand and diversify their businesses, with the aim to compete internationally. The establishment of the DISF was to accelerate the shift of Malaysian-owned companies in targeted industries to high value-added, high technology, skills intensive, knowledge-based and innovation-based industries,” added Wan Hashim.

Adapted from Business Times and BERNAMA, 31 Oct. 2014

High level of approvals in the manufacturing sector for first seven months of 2014


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Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Deputy Chief Executive Officer II, Datuk N. Rajendran said this during his presentation on the “Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy: Powering New Opportunities for Investment” at the Sarawak Business Summit last week.

Of the total approved investments in Sarawak for January to July 2014, some RM7.45 billion or 96% were foreign investments, he said, adding that the state could be seeing an additional RM6.7 billion in investment this year.

For the first seven months of the year, Malaysia’s manufacturing sector attracted some RM53.2 billion in investments and Sarawak recorded the second highest level of approved investments among all the states in the country.

Noting that the bulk of the investments in SCORE were in the aluminium, steel and oil and gas sectors, Rajendran said MIDA is trying to create cluster industries in the Samalaju Industrial Park, where the energy-related industries could outsource services like logistics and maintenance to local companies.

Sarawak State Planning Unit Director Datuk Ismawi Ismuni said SCORE has secured 19 approved projects with a total estimated investment of RM30.4 billion, mainly in energy-intensive operations such as aluminium and manganese smelters in Bintulu’s Samalaju Industrial Park, one of SCORE’s growth areas. In addition, Sarawak has also attracted investments in its halal hub in Tanjung Manis in the Mukah Division.

Meanwhile, Press Metal Bhd’s aluminium smelting plant, Tokuyama’s polycrystalline silicon plant and OM Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd’s ferro-alloy smelting plant have commenced production while two manganese plants owned by Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd and Sakura Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd are currently under construction.

Press Metal Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Paul Koon said the group, which has an aluminium smelting plant each in Samalaju and Mukah, could outsource the maintenance service of the plants’ equipment and logistics services in due time.

Source: StarBiz 17 Nov 2014 and MIDA

Sarawak SCORE attracts bulk of investments in the state


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MIDA Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Azman Mahmud and Bank of China CEO, Wang Hong Wei signed on
behalf of their respective bodies, witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during the Malaysia-China captains of industry roundtable meeting here on Tuesday night.

The MoU will pave the way for the bank to refer potential foreign direct investors from China to MIDA
while the bank can provide financing packages for successful applicants to facilitate its investment in China.

The Deputy Prime Minister was in China for a six-day official visit accompanied by Minister of Transport,
Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Lee Chee Leong.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin said approved investments from China have touched US$1.46 billion (RM5.03 billion)
for the first seven months of the year, surpassing the total investments for last year. Investments from China had increased significantly over the five years from US$10.3 million (RM35.45 million) in 2008 to US$1 billion (RM3.45 billion) in 2013, he said.

He welcomed Chinese investors to explore business opportunities in Malaysia, which has a conducive
business environment and recognition by international institutions in various global rankings. Malaysia’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2015 would bring about benefits to the Chinese business community, particularly those who have established a presence in Asean countries.

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) would move towards reducing barriers to trade and investment,
making it easier for the flow of goods, services and capital while increasing competitiveness under a common market regime, he added.

In addition, the setting up of a yuan clearing bank had also been agreed upon by the heads of
state of both countries, which would facilitate and reduce the cost of doing business, a major boost for the business community, he said.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin also witnessed the exchange of an MoU between Sincere World Land and Development Sdn Bhd and China Construction International Co Ltd for the purchase of a 19-storey
hotel as part of the integrated development of The World in Iskandar Malaysia in Johor.

Meanwhile, Liow said the Chinese businessmen at the meeting had expressed keen interests to come to
Malaysia, a gateway for them to tap the ASEAN and Asia-Pacific markets.

Source NST Business
Times and StarBiz 4 Dec 2014

Malaysia-China investments set to rise


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In a media statement on the signing of the collaborative effort, in conjunction with CRESTSymposium
2014 in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chairman of CREST and Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said Malaysia is among the largest in the world for back-end processes in LED manufacturing. Hence, the tie-up is very important and timely to provide the needed thrust to move the industry up the value chain, he added.

The collaboration with UCSB was concluded in just over a year following the visit of three UCSB professors – Dr. Shuji Nakamura (2014 Nobel Prize Winner for Physics); Dr. Steven P. Denbaars, Director of the Solid State Lighting Energy Centre; and Dr James Speck of the Materials Department, to CREST late last year.

CREST Chief Executive Officer, Jaffri Ibrahim, who held talks with the three eminent professors during the visit, said the company is keen to develop the next generation of LED technology. “It’s not just technical knowledge we are looking for but also the methodology and culture that has allowed UCSB to be more than a typical academia-type research centre but one that is more in tune with industry needs,” he said.

The tripartite collaboration involves the academia (UCSB, Universti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) and Monash University Malaysia), the industry (various existing LED makers in Malaysia) and the government via CREST.

The joint initiative will focus on epitaxial development (where additional layers of semiconductor crystals are grown on the surface of a wafer).

Source: Bernama 18 Dec 2014, Crestand
MIDA

CREST & UCSB to focus on R&D for LED sector


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Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Maria Womersley said the quality of human resource in Greater KL is a key consideration for setting up its IT hub, which serves as its global shared business services centre in the area. The Greater KL site is a good base for developing professionals, she added.

As many companies that have set up businesses in Malaysia have recognised the talent pool in the country, Huntsman Vice President of Accounting Shared Services and Internal Contro, Steve Jorgensen said it is very important for companies like Huntsman that Greater KL and Malaysia continue to invest in their youth and the education system here continues to provide the required talents as there would be increasing demand for the talents, going forward.

The new global centre has recruited 60 IT staff out of its target of 100, which is in addition to the almost 100 employees under Huntsman’s accounting shared services centre in Greater KL. The company is currently seeking to fill the 40 jobs which require more technically specialised skills.

Meanwhile, Womersley commended InvestKL, the agency entrusted to promote investments into Greater KL, as well as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) for being very collaborative and supportive when she first came to assess the Greater KL for its operations.

The company initially set up an office in Greater KL some 22 years ago, which also supported a titanium dioxide plant in Terengganu. Subsequently, other divisions were established in Malaysia.

Huntsman continues to expand its base in Malaysia, where in 2010, it opened the Accounting Shared Services Hub and in July 2014, it launched the Huntsman Global Business Services. To-date it has invested some RM1.4 billion in plant and equipment in its Malaysian operations.

Huntsman Regional Commercial Director, Eric Chong said Huntsman Pigments directly employs 275 Malaysians while 200 contractors support its plant. Overall, Huntsman’s businesses in Malaysia are contributing to the livelihood of at least 10,000 Malaysians either directly or indirectly, he added.

He said the company has also contributed some RM2 billion in terms of economic activity in the East Coast Economic Region, based on the latest estimate.

Huntsman has a worldwide network of production sites, whose products are used in various end-use applications such as commercial aircraft, housing, automotive and shoes.

Source: StarBiz

Huntsman opens global IT hub in Greater KL


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The investment would include upgrading of facilities and infrastructure in the park, Kedah State Executive Councilor, Norsabrina Mohd Noor said after the companies signed the lease agreement with Kulim Technology Park Corp Sdn Bhd (KTPC) in Kulim, yesterday.

The companies are keen to invest in KHTP as there are six proposed projects in the vicinity of Kulim–the Kulim International Airport (KXP), Kedah Aerocity, Sungai Petani-Kedah Inner Expressway (SPIKE), Kedah Rubber City, Kedah Science and Technology Park and the Kedah Medical Science City.

Aurelia T Director, Datuk Mohamed Farouk Che Ibrahim said KHTP is a matured park, thus investing and expanding there would benefit both the people and investors.

With the proposed airport, KHTP is expected to bring in more technology-intensive investments to the park.

KTPC President, Annuar Mohd Saffar said the state’s rapid growth in development and transformation had convinced the investors to be a part of the mega projects in the state.

From January to September this year, Kedah had secured a total of RM4.1 billion in foreign direct investments and RM431.0 million in domestic investments in 35 approved projects, according to data from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

Going forward, Annuar said KTPC would further intensify efforts and work closely with MIDA, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) and InvestKedah, to draw more investors, both foreign and local to the state.

Source: NST

Four companies to invest RM375m in KHTP


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