NEW OFFICE BUILDINGS & PRODUCTION FACILITIES
OF B. BRAUN MEDICAL INDUSTRIES
Speech by YAB Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang @
18 April 2018
I am pleased to join you in B. Braun Medical Industries official opening of your new office and production facilities. I wish to also welcome His Excellency, Nikolaus Graff Lambsdorff, Prof. Dr. Heinz Walter Grosse, Ms. Anna Maria Braun, and the global management team of B.Braun to Penang – where George Town was named specifically as among the top 4 best health care centres in the world by International Living in 2017.
Investors from Germany have been pioneers in the industrial development of Penang and more than 45 years on, they continue to grow and re-invest. In the period of 2008 - 2017, German investors were the second largest manufacturing FDI contributors in Penang with the total investment value of RM5.15 billion.
Last year, Penang recorded RM8.5 billion of approved manufacturing FDI, the highest among states in Malaysia. This represents a growth of 209%, year-on-year. Penang is also the second top recipient of total manufacturing investment among states valued at RM10.8 billon. Domestic investment also grew steadily by 92% year-on-year to reach RM2.3 billion in 2017.
B.Braun – The pioneer in medical device manufacturing investments in Penang
It was in 2009 that B. Braun launched your great Master Plan to rebuild and expand your production facilities in Penang. How different all the buildings now look! Today, we can see the significant execution of the Master Plan - large and modern factories and office buildings, which has truly become a landmark and a benchmark in the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone – a great achievement and success that not only B.Braun and Penang are proud of, but it is also a testament of the confidence of foreign investors in Penang.
- B. Braun was one of the first foreign companies to invest in Penang in the 70’s. Even during global economic slow-downs, B. Braun continued to grow and expand, and provide employment.
- B. Braun’s investment of over RM4.75 billion in Penang, from its establishment to the end of last year, is to be applauded. In addition, they have created over 3,000 job opportunities since 2009. And judging by the new buildings and facilities, it looks like they are not only set to invest more money in their production site here, but also create even more job opportunities for Penangites – something I, as Chief Minister, am very pleased with.
- B. Braun is currently already one of the largest single employer in Penang, with over 7,700 employees – 99% of whom, I am happy to say, are Malaysians.
I am delighted to hear that B. Braun’s global Centre of Excellence for Intravenous Access is in Penang, the only one outside of Europe with full R&D capabilities and more than 100 engineers. This indicates that the quality of our local talent meets the requirements of world-class R&D assignments.
B.Braun’s significant talent initiatives in Penang
While their economic contributions to Penang are impressive, I am equally pleased that B. Braun is also committed to developing human capital. Their involvement is in the true spirit to the State’s 4P -public, private, people, professional partnership – enhancing our STEM initiatives in Penang where the Penang state government has already allocated RM75 million to COEs of @CAT Penang (Accelerator for Creative, Analytics and Technology), Penang Skill Development Centre (PSDC), Penang Science Cluster (PSC), Karpal Singh Penang Learning Centre (KSPLC), Tech Dome Penang (TDP), and Penang Digital Library (PDL).
B.Braun is among the pioneer sponsoring companies for the first-of-its-kind Malaysia Meister Program @ Penang, working closely with the Penang Skills Development Centre to provide paid on-the-job training for vocational students supported by State government scholarships with a RM6 million allocation. I understand that the first batch of 22 students who started in 2015 has completed their diploma recently in March this year, before proceeding on to their Advanced Diploma.
Not only that, B Braun intends to have an even bigger intake this year, focusing on Mechatronics and Electronics Automation. I certainly commend their commitment to this programme, especially as they invested RM1.6 million in a vocational training facility with workstations that can cater to 50 students at a time. They also have their own in-house engineering, technical and leadership programmes to help develop and upskill their employees.
Besides that, B. Braun is the Pillar Lead for Life Sciences and Medical Health for the Penang Science Cluster. Since 2010, when this initiative was started by Penang government, B. Braun has played a significant role and have been strong supporters of our annual Penang International Science Fair, which is the largest science fair in Malaysia.
In 2016, they launched the first B. Braun Genetics Week in Penang, flying in a team of scientists from the University of Kassel in Germany to conduct genetics workshops for our students. In fact, the Genetics Week was such a success that they did it again last year, in which 325 students from 16 primary and secondary schools in Penang were exposed to genetics science. Just as the corporate motto of B.Braun says, “Sharing Expertise”.
Please accept my heartiest congratulations on the occasion of your official opening of the new office buildings and production facilities. The State wishes to record our appreciation to B.Braun’s significant contribution in Penang, and I look forward to seeing B. Braun’s continued growth in Penang.