SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT BENCHMARK PRECISION TECHNOLOGIES OPENING CEREMONY
1ST MARCH 2018
Ladies & Gentlemen
A very good morning. I am pleased to join all of you at the Grand Opening ceremony of Benchmark Precision Technologies Penang, which is headquartered in the USA. Today’s ceremony marks the opening of Benchmark’s 2nd and 3rd facilities in Penang, which are both Precision Technologies facilities focusing on vertically integrated manufacturing and test of complex capital equipment used in semiconductor related industries.
Penang – A Preferred Destination for Investors
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has announced that Penang is the second largest recipient of the total approved manufacturing investments of RM9.9 billion for the first three quarters of 2017, which is way higher than the RM4.3 billion investments recorded for the whole of 2016. From this RM9.9 billion, Penang recorded RM8 billion in FDI, which is the highest in Malaysia – thanks to FDI from MNCs like Benchmark.
From 2008-June 2017, US investors are the largest FDI contributors into Penang with about 25% of total manufacturing FDI in the State, valued at RM14.2 billion. In the corresponding period, 1/3 of E&E investments in Malaysia are in Penang. Furthermore, Malaysia’s largest single E&E exporter, Broadcom, located in Penang, is expected to export around USD16 billion worth of exports this year, contributing 8% to Malaysia’s total annual exports. The second largest single exporter, Western Digital, is also in Penang, contributing RM20 billion or 2.5% of Malaysia’s total annual exports.
The residual intelligence and our accumulated experience of over 45 years in the manufacturing sector continues to place Penang as a preferred destination for investors. The state government has put in RM75 million to promote STEM education of science, technology, engineering and maths. Amongst the scientific initiatives include science discovery centres, free coding classes to 120,000 primary and secondary students, German vocational training and Malaysia’s first digital library that is open for 24 hours. A recent BBC feature video report named Penang as a regional hardware manufacturing hub and Asia’s next Silicon Valley.
Benchmark - Landmark Presence in Penang
Benchmark Penang boasts the uniqueness of being the only Benchmark facility in the world which houses electronic manufacturing services, mechanical component manufacturing, simple to complex assemblies and full integration & test of complex systems – all at one location. To compliment this, Benchmark Penang also houses an International Procurement Office (IPO) and a Design Centre within their facilities premises here.
Benchmark entered Malaysia in 2007 through the acquisition of Quantum Peripherals (M) Sdn Bhd assets here and have since grown tremendously. Today Benchmark has 3 facilities in Penang and employs about 1,500 people.
I wish to once again congratulate the management and employees of Benchmark on your success and growth in Penang. Thank you for growing and being part of Penang’s growth in the past 11 years. The State will continue to support and facilitate the needs of investors in Penang.