First, l wish to thank the organizers for inviting me to officiate the event. Let me also thank our guests for gracing the occasion. For the participants, we appreciate your presence and support.

I would like to extend my congratulations to Dato’ Teng Chang Khim and also Dato’ Hassan Azhari for their tireless efforts in ensuring the successful organisation of this summit.

After 60 years of national independence, Selangor continues to lead the nation in contributing to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

As of 2015, Selangor contributed RM 240 billion, or 22.6% to the national GDP, with an annual growth rate of 5.7%. In fact, I am happy to share with you that the latest figures released yesterday by the Department of Statistics show that Selangor’s contribution to the GDP has increased to 22.7%. Hence, Selangor is also known as the Golden State of Malaysia and the economic powerhouse of the nation.

This year’s Summit features three key events — the Selangor Smart City & Future Commerce Convention 2017, the Selangor-ASEAN Business Conference 2017 and the Selangor International Expo 2017.

I believe this is the best platform for key business players, investors and decision makers from various industries to come together and optimize the full market potentials.

Selangor possesses unique characteristics in the region. Culturally, we are a microcosm of the nation reflecting its ethnic, language and religious diversity. Within this cosmopolitan mix, the people of Selangor are united and unified under a state administration that espouses a policy of moderation, mutual respect and justice.

Selangor’s governance possesses strength in clarity of vision and strategy to ensure her continued success as an ideal home and a prime investment destination for foreign investors.

Home to 6.3 million citizens, Selangor has the nation’s largest literate, well-educated and multilingual population. We have the biggest concentration of public and private universities producing in the region of 40,000 graduates yearly.

More significantly, Selangor produces the highest number of skilled workers to support the vibrant and ever growing industrial and commercial growth and expansion. While enabling businesses to grow, our highly developed infrastructure is also buttressed by the presence of strong logistical transportation facilities including the largest airports and sea ports.

The state government is pushing the economy forward by emphasising strongly on aerospace, e-commerce, services and biotechnology.

We have set up four councils—the Selangor Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (SITEC), the Selangor Bio Council, Halal International Selangor Council and the Selangor Aerospace Council to create a mechanism to push the industries forward and generate sustainable growth in these sectors.

Under SITEC, we provide co-working space to train startups, and in future commerce we nurture the growth of SMEs to market their products online. We are also doubling efforts to attract players and traders from far and wide to make Selangor the future commerce centre of Asia.

We are confident that with our developed digital infrastructure and logistics, and the evolution of a complete digital ecosystem, E-commerce as the future commerce will thrive and create immense value for Selangor as a regional hub.

This year, with the Selangor Smart City & Future Commerce Convention 2017, we look forward to working closely with our counterparts, in particular Barcelona, one of the foremost global authorities in Smart City development.

The Convention has attracted prominent policy makers, business leaders and experts to generate further discourse on smart cities which will give further impetus to our transformation program as a regional smart state.

Under the Bio Council, we are developing Selangor Bio Bay where we will create a complete ecosystem for biotech research. I cannot overstress the role of this research in driving the biotech industry.

While Selangor Bio Bay plays its part in ensuring the creation of the ecosystem, universities must step up to the plate and go headlong into carrying out the requisite and very specific R & D in this special field.

Financial engineering is also important in this field which is capital intensive – so investments are not only welcome but absolutely necessary to ensure that biotech plays its rightful part in taking the driver’s seat.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In order to attract investments, Selangor will continue to focus on the five clusters of life sciences, transport equipment, machinery & equipment, food and beverages, and electrical & electronics. Within the five, we place special focus on biotechnology and life sciences, including the medical equipment industry.

Malaysia has seen rapid growth in the medical sector in terms of medical tourism and is shifting its manufacturing industry toward this purpose. In transport equipment, there is special attention placed on aerospace, again divided into five clusters: MRO, OEMs, engineering services, training and aero parks.

Over 62% of the aerospace activities in Malaysia are located in Selangor namely Sepang, Subang and Serendah. This is an emerging industry which holds out great prospect of robust and sustainable growth. Hence, we have set up the Selangor Aerospace Council.

In the service industry, our vision is for Selangor to become a global trading hub and a financial and logistics centre. Further underscoring the international confidence in Selangor as a regional centre, we just recently concluded a major agreement with IKEA to develop their regional distribution and supply chain centre for the Asia Pacific region, located in Pulau Indah.

Since 2015, we have been positioning Selangor to be a regional player as part and parcel of our vision of transformation into a regional smart state. This is not so much a question of choice, than one of utmost necessity.

In global trade and commerce terms, the world is getting smaller, as geographical boundaries and artificial barriers of international trade, are getting dismantled. At the same, the global market is opening up and getting even bigger.

International competition may be increasing, but so will the opportunities for expansion and value creation. In this regard, I would like to stress that our approach to international trade and investment, is guided by the philosophy that these ventures are mutually beneficial and create value.

This means, creation of jobs, stimulation of economic activities and the generation of overall multiplier effects on the domestic economy.

On our part, we offer good governance, transparency and accountability.

Selangor with its strategic geographical location, sound logistical and technological infrastructure and strong economic fundamentals is geared up to be the gateway for even more robust regional trade and commerce.

Selangor’s strategic thrusts towards driving the economy and commerce are directed towards that objective. Our efforts at placing fresh impetus on the promotion of all the vital sectors are aimed at further enhancing our infrastructure and increasing our competitiveness to give the best to the world.

As for those who are already here, let me express our appreciation for your participation. You have made the right choice.

Your presence here and the increase in the number of participants, together with the extended period of activities and programs for this international series of events bodes well for the prospects ahead.

For those prospective companies and organisations, local and foreign, who are not here yet, please come and explore the vast opportunities in the offing. You will not be disappointed.

Ladies and gentlemen,

To conclude, with the continued support and collaboration of our regional partners, the encouraging response of international captains of industry and the commitment and resolve of the Selangor state government, I am confident we will grow from strength to strength to become an Asian Business Centre and a global trading hub.

And now, it is my pleasure to officiate the launch of the Selangor International Business Summit 2017.

Thank you.