[SPEECH] Dialogue & Hi Tea with the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers

FMM FMM2 FMM3

  1. First and foremost, I would like to thank the Selangor Branch of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers for inviting me to this dialogue session. I gather that you are keen to know the latest updates on Selangor’s Investment and Industrial Development Plans.
  1. Indeed, this is good because you are the drivers of our economy. I hope we will have a meaningful session this evening.
  1. To begin with, last year we initiated a transformational exercise which will impact the lives of many residents in the state and shape our economy towards a more competitive and suitable future. This effort can only be successful together with the business community, together with the members of FMM Selangor.
  1. Since the first joint study conducted in 2014 by FMM Selangor, Invest Selangor and Monash University Malaysia on industrial parks in Selangor, the state government has concluded to enhance the industrial parks infrastructure and adopt a new industrial park management model as a pilot project.
  1. We are very thankful for the crucial input from FMM Selangor and the excellent study by Monash University Professor Brian.
  1. In a second step, we decided to extend the study to the whole economic landscape of our state in regard to our future planning. We established five (5) promising core clusters, which would include a few different industries. You would find electrical and electronics (E&E), transport equipment, life sciences, F&B manufacturing as well as machinery and equipment (M&E) in this group. These clusters include a range of industries from aerospace to pharmaceuticals and will offer better planning instruments through our new industrial master plan.
  1. Let me share with you some of the latest updates and findings:
  • E&E is a more mature industry cluster in Selangor, whereby large multinational companies (MNCs) and their subsidiaries with a few mid-tier local companies dominate the local market.
  • In contrast, the life sciences cluster is relatively new but with vast development potentials. Life sciences activities in Selangor have always been concentrated in the central region with a natural cluster emerging around the Petaling Jaya area.
  • In Selangor, the F&B cluster revolves around the primary activity of food processing and manufacturing. Many larger companies have been producing food products for decades, which successfully cater to both domestic and overseas markets.
  • Being strategically located in the centre of Malaysia as well as the nation’s main port of entry, Selangor has many positive characteristics for a transport equipment cluster. Subang International Airport is now a regional MRO hub and we have the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre.
  • M&E cluster plays an essential part for most manufacturing activities and supports various industries such as the dominant palm oil industry in agriculture, the oil & gas sector and the manufacturing sector.
  1. All said, what we need is the actual formulation of our future industrial development agenda and action plan and I believe this dialogue forum will play a crucial role.
  1. I just want to assure all of you that we are strongly committed to improving the industrial infrastructure of the state – particularly industrial parks via the introduction of a new industrial park management model.
  1. Invest Selangor also targets to facilitate the establishment of at least two new managed industrial parks in the North and South Region by 2019. In addition, a high quality transportation network is vital in economic development and there is a need to improve our freight movement. Hence, we are also about to finalize a new transport master plan, for which concepts of smart cities are to be utilized.
  1. In terms of talent, we have heard you and your concerns about the employability of young Malaysians. Even though education is a Federal policy area, we consider it a moral duty for the state to do its utmost to address the issues and problems associated with it.
  1. Already for a few months, Selangor has established new programs with partners such as the Selangor Human Resource Development Centre (SHRDC), which includes youth employability programs such as Internship for High Impact Talent and Youth Enhancement Strategic Selangor (YES). Invest Selangor has also established the Invest Selangor Talent Initiative with the objective to match the talent demand and supply in the state.
  1. And just two weeks ago, we launched the Academic Boot Camp with a pioneer batch of about 100 participants who have just recently graduated from universities local and abroad. As I had announced in the last budget, this initiative is part and parcel of the State government’s Smart Selangor effort to enhance the employability of our academic human resource. Hence, the need to equip them with the soft skills that they did not get the chance to learn while at university.
  1. In line with our recent investment promotion focus, more than half (55%) of the investment projects in Selangor from January to September 2015 are within the five (5) core clusters. M&E cluster leads the grouping with a 18% share of projects within the state. Both the Life Sciences and F&B manufacturing (including tobacco) clusters also maintain a double-digit share of 12% and 10%, respectively. On the other hand, Transport Equipment cluster has a share of 9% while the E&E cluster has a share of 6%.
  1. Incidentally, as of yesterday Selangor has just beaten Kuala Lumpur by a wide gap to take number 2 position in the service industry. As for manufacturing, we beat Penang and Malacca to rank as number 3. And in terms of approved investments in the services sector, Selangor is ranked as number 2.
  1. Our track record therefore provides a great testimonial for Selangor to remain as a preferred investment destination in Malaysia. Even more, we assure you that we will do our best to further enhance Selangor’s international standing, especially in the ASEAN region. Investment promotion and place branding will continue as important pillars of the development of the state, despite the stiff global competition. Through our Selangor International Expo 2016, we also hope to encourage Selangor’s companies to look beyond the state’s borders and find new business partners.
  1. In this regard, I cannot overstress the importance of Selangor aspiring to be a regional center for trade and investment as part of our long term strategy of transforming Selangor into a world-class Smart State. This ideal can only be realized when all parties and sectors concerned pool together efforts and resources to focus towards a common goal.
  1. While the State Government, on its part, will facilitate, provide the incentives and actively support this endeavour, the members of the manufacturing, business and commercial communities must be at the forefront to drive its growth progress.
  1. Last but not least, I need to reiterate that while economic prosperity and material advancement are matters of paramount importance we must never forget that this is a government of the people and for the people. As such, the principles of social justice must continue to guide our policies to ensure that the people’s welfare is never neglected.

Thank you.

 

Article by Azmin Ali