Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
At The Official Opening of UWC Holdings New Plant, Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Penang
31 March 2018
I am pleased to be present today at the official opening ceremony of UWC Holdings new manufacturing plant at Batu Kawan Industrial Park. We are proud to celebrate another milestone in UWC’s growth, which is recognized regionally and globally, and is today the largest electromagnetic lock manufacturer and supplier in South East Asia.
Robust investment performance driven by domestic and foreign investment
MIDA in their 2017 Annual Performance Report recently announced Penang as the second top recipient of total manufacturing investment among states valued at RM10.8 billon. Penang showed robust investment performance with total investment growing by 151% year-on-year compared to 2016. Domestic investment driven by our local large companies, such as UWC Holdings and local small and medium companies, also grew by 92% year-on-year to reach RM2.3 billion in 2017. Penang is also the top recipient among states, with approved manufacturing investment FDI in 2017 valued at RM8.5 billion, a growth of 209%, year-on-year. BBC in their feature video also named Penang, as the next Silicon Valley of Asia and highlighted the experiences of our local entrepreneurs, who ventured into tech-related industries to support over 300 multinational corporations in Penang.
UWC Holdings – Powered in Penang success
UWC Holdings is another success story of locally ‘Powered in Penang’ companies, which has grown progressively with an annual revenue exceeding RM200 million today. A simple definition of entrepreneurship is the willingness and ability to undertake risk and combines the factors of production to earn a profit. However, to make it work is another story altogether. Dato’ Ng Chai Eng, Managing Director of UWC Holdings and Mr. Lau Chee Kheong, Executive Director founded the company as a trading company and today after 28 years has expanded to provide engineering services, manufacturing of precision parts and components primarily for the semiconductor; healthcare & medical industries.
With 7 manufacturing plants, in Malaysia and Vietnam, UWC has also invested RM150 million in Batu Kawan in this 350,000 sq ft plant. Around 950 jobs have been created by UWC in Batu Kawan, making the total headcount of UWC Holdings at 1,200. The State has developed internationally benchmarked facilities and conducive environment for local SMEs to grow. This Batu Kawan Industrial Park is specially developed by PDC to incorporate a 150 acres SMI Village is designed to better serve the needs of SMEs. On the Penang Island, other than ready-built SMI units for lease, a modern multi-storey RM 26 million Penang SME Centre offers new SMEs the option to rent at subsidized rental rates. With the Penang state government’s emphasis on building our talent pool, upgrading public infrastructure, digital connectivity and good governance, UMC has made the right choice to expand here in Penang.
Once again, I wish to congratulate UWC Holdings on their official opening of their new manufacturing plant. Agencies such as investPenang and Penang Development Corporation will continue to play their role to facilitate and provide assistance to our investors to grow and prosper in Penang.