Speech of The Right Honourable Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali, Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor during Invest Selangor Gala Dinner 2016
5 August 2016
To all our guests, I would like to say a very big “Thank you” for your presence tonight. In particular, I would like to thank all our investors both local and foreign for their unwavering support towards Selangor.
I would also like to record my highest appreciation to the relevant government departments and agencies both at the state and federal levels for their immense contribution in helping to bring about the success of Selangor.
In this regard, I would like to express my gratitude in particular to MIDA for having extended their full support to our efforts in promoting our investment programs. This is a clear example of effective and productive cooperation between state and federal government.
I would also like to thank YB Dato’ Teng for his leadership in driving this challenging portfolio and ensuring we grow in leaps and bounds.
The state government acknowledges the great services provided by Invest Selangor and truly believes that performance could be taken to another level under the excellent leadership of Encik Hasan Azhari Hj Idris.
Since the establishment of Invest Selangor, the state successfully attracted more than RM 130.7 billion of investment from the manufacturing sector over the past 16 years, that is, from 1999 to 2015.
Looking at 2015 alone, Selangor achieved more than RM 7.9 billion, representing a year-on-year surge of 13%.
This impressive track record shows beyond all doubt that Selangor has been and God-willing will remain as a preferred investment destination in Malaysia.
While we are indeed proud of this success, we would like to assure you that we will continue to work very hard to improve ourselves even further.
As you know, we are positioning Selangor as a regional player, particularly in ASEAN. In this regard, we will spare no effort in enhancing Selangor’s international standing.
This requires the commitment of all stakeholders and I earnestly invite all of you investors to come aboard this venture and together let us make it a success.
The more we grow, the greater will be the multiplier effects. The more we expand, the greater will be the benefits to be derived from the economies of scale.
However, this success is dependent on two major factors. First and foremost, there must continue to be a government fully committed to see the state expand and grow exponentially. A business friendly government.
At the same time, there must be good governance with transparency and accountability. I cannot overstress the importance of this principle. We cannot compromise with regards to questions of corruption and misuse of state power. Kleptocracy is not our style.
This is a very serious matter but I am happy and proud to say that in this connection, the Selangor government and its officials have proven themselves to be worthy of the people’s trust and expectations.
Secondly, we should bear in mind the importance of investors in their role not just as business entities but as strategic partners with the State Government in advancing the state economy.
With your significant investment, you have generated almost 400,000 jobs and boosted new technology transfers. With regard to this, I would like to reiterate the need for our leading foreign investors to relocate their R & D facilities to Selangor.
This is part and parcel of our efforts at making Selangor a regional hub – particularly ASEAN – to market their products on a much wider scale.
The fruits of investment are also utilised for social development and in this way investors in Selangor play an important role in ensuring social justice.
While it is often said that businesses exist to make profits, it needs to be added that in a humane economy, social justice cannot be set aside.
You therefore are not just instrumental in shaping the economy of Selangor but play an important role in helping the state to bring about social development and welfare to the people.
This is an essential symbiosis between business and government. On the part of the State of Selangor, let me assure you that we will be at hand to assist you in your endeavours.
As you know, we have successfully organised several working lunches with foreign investors on a country by country basis. I have personally attended each and every one of these lunch-cum-dialogue sessions so that I myself can get a first-hand perspective of the situation and the state of our investment. This is how important you are to us.
As you know, Invest Selangor has a great track record in providing guidance to investors as well as post-investment business support. To be precise, it has assisted over 4,600 manufacturing projects since its establishment.
Investment promotion and place branding will continue as important pillars of the development of the state, despite the stiff global competition.
In line with this great partnership, we also further extend our efforts with continuous state planning and many new initiatives.
These include the Industrial Master Plan of Selangor, the Transport Master Plan, E-commerce Initiative in particular Selangor Information Technology and E-commerce Council (SITEC).
In terms of our globalisation and trade initiative, a major International Expo is in store. In line with our strategy to make Selangor an international trade centre, we propose to make this an annual affair.
Selangor International EXPO represents one of Malaysia’s largest and most recognised local and international trade gateways, connecting trade exhibitors, buyers and visitors to global markets.
We also have the Selangor Bio Council which will oversee the planned development of Selangor Bio-bay. The basic idea is to offer a great environment for biotechnology companies to thrive and advance.
I am also pleased to inform that the Selangor Aerospace Council will be having its inaugural meeting soon. The Council aims to further drive development in the Selangor aerospace sector and to enhance recognition of the state’s capabilities as a leader in ASEAN aerospace markets.
In this regard, three dedicated industrial locations have been identified as the main growth centres. They are Subang Nexus, Sepang KLIA Aeropolis and the newly announced Serendah Aerospace Hard Metal Manufacturing Park. This is called the “3S” Aerospace Belt of Selangor expanding from the north to south region.
Incidentally, just to share with you: In November, I will be heading a delegation overseas to explore the possibilities of further enhancing our potential growth and expansion in this challenging field.
In terms of human capital development, we have among others, the Invest Selangor Talent Initiative which aims to match the talent demand and supply in the state.
There are also the Youth employability programs such as Internship for High Impact Talent, Youth Enhancement Strategic Selangor and the academic boot camp that was successfully implemented in March.
We have also invested more than RM 60 million in upgrading state-owned university UNISEL as part and parcel of our overall plan to establish a knowledge economy and provide a ready talent pool to meet our industry needs.
As a matter of fact, over and above the RM 60 million, just this afternoon, I handed over a cheque of RM20 million to UNISEL which represents a special grant from the State Government to further accelerate the advancement of its academic programs as well as to ensure the smooth running of its general administration.
In today’s globalised economy, the State government recognises that there is a paradigm shift from a labour-intensive economy to one that is high-tech and knowledge based.
While we must embrace this new paradigm with commitment and conviction, we also will not lose sight of the importance of incremental transformation. There must be a plan to minimise social dislocation and disruption in employment patterns. The creation of jobs and employment opportunities will still be a priority.
The new theme of the state – Smart Selangor – therefore encapsulates this philosophy of moving into a new paradigm, which is a process towards adaptation, innovation and creative expansion.
In this regard, the government again will invest and improve the infrastructure and delivery systems accommodating the needs and wants of investors.
Ladies and gentlemen,
May I congratulate the recipients for tonight’s awards. May this award persuade you to continuously improve and venture forward in the ever-challenging global business environment.
Last but not least, I wish to express the highest appreciation to all related parties who have contributed their time and effort in making Invest Selangor Gala Dinner 2016 a success.