Yang Berusaha Tengku Dato' Sri Zafrul bin Tengku Abdul Aziz
Minister of Finance

Mr. Dave Mitchell
Vice President of Operations for Boston Scientific

Mr. Christophe Marque

Chairman of Association Malaysian Medical Industries (AMMI)

A very good morning to everyone. First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our YB Finance Minister for making this trip, to engage with the Penang state government and industry players, in obtaining constructive feedbacks for the preparation of Budget 2021.

I always advocate that keeping an ear to the ground and obtaining feedback from industry players are all vital in ensuring and enhancing Penang as a preferred location for strategic investments. This would enable the State Government to form constructive industrial policies, ride on the global industry trends and thus act in a timely manner. This is indeed crucial in helping us benchmark and stay competitive against our neighbouring peers who are always aggressively scouting for FDIs.

Undoubtedly, Penang, as the Silicon Valley of the East, has been playing a pivotal role in driving the country’s investment inflow and external trade.

In the first quarter of 2020, Penang recorded approved manufacturing investments of RM7.1 billion, despite being up against a challenging global macroeconomic backdrop. This 3-month inflow is equivalent to 42% of total approved manufacturing investments recorded in 2019.

Notably, Penang recorded RM6.8billion of FDI in the first quarter of 2020, accounting for 64% of Malaysia’s total FDI during the period. This underscores Penang’s role in driving Malaysia’s participation in the global supply chain, as well as the MNCs’ continued confidence in the State as a conducive and sustainable investment destination.

Moreover, in the first quarter of 2020, 95% of Penang’s approved manufacturing investments are being channelled into our key promoted industries, namely, Machinery & Equipment, Scientific & Measuring Equipment (including medical devices) and Electrical & Electronics.

On external trade, Penang generated RM105 billion of total trade surplus in 2019, representing 77% of the nationwide total trade surplus. After suffering from a productivity loss due to the MCO, the Penang manufacturing industry is seeing a strong comeback. In June 2020, Penang recorded export of RM27 billion, up 20% year-on-year, outpacing the country’s export growth of 8% during the same period. Penang contributed 32% of Malaysia’s total export in June 2020.

Just two days ago, Bloomberg published an article recognizing that the technology cluster in Penang is helping drive an economic recovery that could see Malaysia bouncing back at a faster pace than any of its peers in Southeast Asia.

Undeniably, Penang’s stellar performance would not have been made possible had it not been for the conscientious effort of both the federal and state governments, specifically MIDA and InvestPenang for working diligently in facilitating our investors.

Robust supply chain and a strong talent pool in Penang have always been cited amongst the key reasons for FDI inflows. Strategically catered and accelerated tax incentives are critical when competing with other Asian sites. The speed of tax incentive approvals is pertinent in landing strategic investments. Hence, the State strongly advocates the National Committee of Investment (NCI), co-chaired by MoF and MITI, continues.

Whilst the current world economy is faced with uncertainties, there are still opportunities for Malaysia, particularly arising from the global supply-chain reconfiguration and the emerging industries that will continue to play important roles in the post COVID-19 era. The State government looks forward to continue working hand-in-hand with the federal government to bring in more quality investments, jobs and prosperity to the country.

Thank you.

Pejabat Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Tingkat 28, KOMTAR, 10502, George Town, Pulau Pinang