Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Invest Penang to focus on SME development and competitiveness next year :)

investPenang will give more emphasis to the development of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and enhancing their competitiveness next year.

investPenang chairman Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who chaired the annual general meeting of the board of directors of investPenang on Dec 16, said the SME Market Advisory, Resource and Training (SMART) Centre established under investPenang in May this year, would collaborate with the Penang Science Council to formulate small and medium industries strategies in providing shared services and business development services to local companies and entrepreneurs.

In the pipeline is the establishment of the SME Village with the aim of developing clusters of supply chain to meet industrial needs, particularly to support industries which the state is promoting. These include avionics/aerospace, light emitting diodes (LED), semiconductor and medical devices.

The cluster concept of development means the SMEs would be housed within the same premises, with shared facilities provided to help lower their cost of doing business.

Lim said in addition to the existing industry clusters, the SMART Centre would also support the growth and development of three major niche clusters comprising solid state lighting (SSL), precision electronics encompassing measurement equipment and radio frequency as well as medical devices.

As of September this year, Penang ranked third (after Selangor and Johor) in terms of investments approved. Between January and September this year, MIDA approved a total of RM2.7 billion in investments for the state, an increase of 25% from the RM2.2 billion in investments approved for the whole of 2009. Foreign direct investments accounted for 63% of the total.

Investments from the US headed the list, followed by Switzerland. The investments are mainly from the medical devices and electronics industries.

Lim said investPenang had been putting in a lot of effort to attract new investments. Since 2009, more new investments and projects were approved compared with reinvestments.

Over 60% of the approved investments in 2009 and this year were from new investments, compared with less than 35% in 2008.

However, Lim expressed concern whether the target of RM4.2 billion in investments this year could be achieved based on figures for the final three months of the year.

“The Penang state government hopes that both MIDA and investPenang can redouble efforts to nail down the many foreign and local investors who are awaiting grants and incentives to be approved by MIDA,” he said.

“Investments are closely related to industrial output and for the fourth quarter of this year, the industrial production indexes for Malaysia have declined.

“This will impact investment decisions and thus we expect that investments for 2011 will increase only by 12%,” Lim added.

He added that the slower pace in investment inflows would not deter the state government.

He also said investPenang would intensify efforts to promote investments through facilitating existing and potential investors, investment promotion missions, networking as well as hosting trade and investment delegations.

Need more effort to develop Penang for the better of everyone here ...

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