Saya mengalu-alukan kehadiran tuan-tuan ke Pameran Antarabangsa ini yang memberikan tumpuan pada beberapa sektor seperti e-Dagang, Industri Halal dan Sains Hayat yang akan menerajui Selangor di masa akan datang.
Pameran ini akan memberikan gambaran kepada dunia bahawa Selangor sebagai gedung kuasa ekonomi Malaysia.
A very good afternoon and welcome to the largest trade fair in the state, the Selangor International Expo 2016.
First, I would like to thank Invest Selangor for inviting me to officiate the event. It is quite clear that much thought and planning have been put into the preparation for this grand occasion.
So, congratulations to Yang Berhormat, Dato’ Teng, the Organizing Chairman. I would also like to thank all our guests for being here today to grace the occasion. And to all the exhibitors, thank you for your support and participation.
You have come to the right place, for this is the most progressive state in Malaysia, with a highly developed infrastructure and connectivity for major industry clusters. We have the largest port, 2 major airports, extensive highways and public transport systems and fast and reliable internet connections.
Above all, to buttress this vibrant investment haven, we have adult literacy of 98.7 per cent, the most advanced commercial ecosystem, the most strategic location and, an administration that is totally committed to take the state of Selangor to its next level.
In this regard, we have embarked on a paradigm shift to position Selangor on the global stage as a regional hub for commerce, industry and innovation. The Selangor International Expo is an integral part of this positioning strategy and we believe will serve as a gateway to the ASEAN region, which is a very attractive market.
To catalyse the growth of our well diversified industries, we have prioritized five core clusters for acceleration, namely, life sciences, food and beverage, electrical and electronics, transport equipment as well as machinery and equipment.
Expo primary focus
As for this Expo, though we have a wide ranging scope in terms of products being exhibited, our primary focus is on three major sectors, namely, e-Commerce, Halal-related manufacturing and services and Life Sciences.
For this purpose, the Selangor Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (SITEC), along with the Selangor Bio Council, Selangor Aerospace Council and Halal International Selangor Council, were set up to provide advice in terms of the direction to take in boosting these industries.
Their responsibilities include identifying the appropriate ecosystems and supply chains while brainstorming blueprints and roadmaps.
Selangor is also tapping into the younger generation via its e-commerce initiatives, including the setting up of the Selangor Digital Creative Centre in Shah Alam last year. This is now a platform for start-up companies registered in the state to market their products online.
Since its inception, SITEC has exceeded its initial target of helping 100 merchants go online each year by more than 100%.
We believe that particularly for the SMEs, the three areas of e-Commerce, Halal-related manufacturing and services and Life Sciences will be active drivers of growth for the near and mid-term future.
Our long-term vision is to leverage on Selangor’s economic strengths, which has seen more than RM 64.6 billion in total foreign direct investment since 1999, according to the latest figures of MIDA, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority.
Even though our industrial roots began in manufacturing which remains strong and robust no doubt, I cannot overstress the importance of our strategic thrust to fully establish a knowledge economy.
In this regard, the services sector plays a crucial role, more so, as we have a highly skilled and innovative knowledge‐workforce.
We have made advances in our commercial base over the years as a result of which, the service sector has overtaken manufacturing as the main contributor to the state’s gross domestic product, accounting for nearly 60 % of its total output of RM 240 billion in 2015 alone.
This achievement is not accidental. The state government undoubtedly has been actively advocating a strong services sector to drive the economy.
Among the major criteria of a knowledge economy would be advances in education, logistics and transportation, research, business outsourcing, ICT and other services. These are now subsumed under our new slogan of a ‘SMART SELANGOR’.
As a reality check, what this means too is that we must continuously strive to improve in all the crucial areas be it infrastructure, enhanced education or research facilities.
In this regard, I give my assurance that the state government will continue to play an active role working closely also with the local authorities to effect an efficient management and control eco-system.
According to the latest figures published by MIDA, for the period of January – June, 2016, Selangor received a total of RM 3.03 billion of direct investment, making the state second after Johor with the highest investment received during the period.
Out of the total amount, almost RM 1.78 billion was from domestic investment while about RM 1.25 billion was from foreign direct investments.
Selangor recorded the highest number of 130 in terms of projects for the same period as compared with the other states in Malaysia.
Despite the current economic situation, we are on track towards attaining our target of RM 6 billion for investments in Selangor’s manufacturing sector for 2016.
Concerning the question of foreign investment, I believe there are some fundamental challenges that all administrations must face, regardless whether they are state or federal governments.
Among them, is the expectation of political stability and the continuity of an administration that is efficient as well as effective in facilitating the regulatory process. It has to be an administration that is also clean, accountable and transparent in its decision-making structure and procedures.
In this regard, I am proud to say that the recent surge in attention and interest shown by foreign leaders, embassies and organisation to Selangor bears testimony to the state’s economic growth and dynamism as well as its political stability.
We appreciate that apart from economic cooperation, our common concerns also converge on the key issues of governance such as accountability and transparency.
While no effort will be spared in spurring the economy and the prosperity of the people, we believe that a zero-tolerance for corruption is absolutely essential, and that, integrity, accountability and transparency are the hallmarks of good governance.
Job creation and hi-tech industries
With the on-set of the new millennium, Malaysia has undergone some structural changes in terms of competitive advantage.
For the last decade in particular we have not been as competitive as before in labour-intensive projects, no doubt on account of the challenges posed by emerging economies such as Vietnam and Myanmar.
In this regard, we have made a strategic shift towards focusing on knowledge-based and high-tech industries while at the same time, further encouraging a robust SME economic sector.
As I have stated at the outset, this is reflected in our focus on the five core clusters particularly aerospace, biotech and life sciences, e-commerce and the halal sector.
Having said that, we are still proud to announce that Selangor remains a major contributor to the national economy even in terms of job creation.
For the period from 1999 up to the second quarter of this year, more than 367,569 jobs have been created via 4,790 manufacturing projects. Out of a population of 6.14 million, the state has a workforce of 3.2 million.
What this means is that we will continue to strengthen our competitive advantage in all crucial sectors and while more capital intensive and high-tech clusters gain more prominence, our services sector and employment-generating priorities will not be compromised.
The saying that Selangor is the nation’s economic power house will be more meaningful if we also assume greater social responsibility for the people. Hence, as a metropolitan state, with its diverse ethnic, cultural and religious character we maintain a clear headed and politically sound policy of justice and moderation.
GDP numbers are no doubt important, but so are the indicators of wealth distribution.
Hence, Selangor takes the premier position with its emphasis on development and high priority on social justice initiatives particularly in the areas of educational opportunities, the promotion of a home-owning democracy and increasing accessibility to primary health care.
Thank you so much for being here and supporting the Selangor International Expo 2016.
The fact that we are holding this international expo for the second year running reflects our serious undertaking to investors, both foreign and local business communities to provide additional opportunities to drive their businesses further.
On that note, I sincerely hope that all of you will derive great benefit from this Expo and continue to invest in Selangor on a long-term basis.
Last but not least, it gives me great pleasure to declare the Selangor International Expo 2016 officially opened. Enjoy your stay in Selangor !