The Penang State Government is targeting to achieve RM6.1 billion investments for this year, which is 50% of the record RM 12.2 billion in 2010 and topped the investment charts for the first time in Malaysia. A lower figure has been set to attract high value-added, high-tech, knowledge based companies that engender high-income, technology transfer and innovative industries. Additionally the Gartner September 2010 report indicates that worldwide semiconductor revenue growth is expected to decrease from 31.5% in 2010 to 4.6% in 2011. This means that the growth rate will taper off.
At the same time, there is a need to “digest” (consolidate) the record investments last year so that the workers and skills shortage engendered does not overspill and damage the industry. According to the latest MIDA, the first three months of 2011 saw a total of RM1.8 billion approved from 20 projects for Penang.
Penang accounts for 15 percent of the total investments approved for the country of RM12.2 billion during January to March 2011. The FDI approved for Penang amounting to RM 991 million constitute 21 percent of the total FDI approved for Malaysia. Penang currently placed fourth in Malaysia.
In 2010, Penang’s RM12.2 billion investments are expected to generate 21,000 new jobs. With the current full employment situation in the State, the State authorities have to deal with various challenges such human resource and SME (small and medium enterprise) development.
In response to these challenges, the State Government, through investPenang, has initiated several programmes like the SME Market Advisory, Resource and Training (SMART) Centre and the Career Assistance & Training (CAT) Centre to address the worker shortage. The SMART Centre was set up specifically to facilitate all SMEs in the State to expand their business through the provision of various activities carried out by the centre.
Further the state government is also collaborating closely with the PSDC to address the skills shortages. Establishing the Penang Science Council has also demonstrated a commitment to train and retrain new talents as well as establish Penang as a centre of excellence for science and technology.
The CAT Centre that was set up in early 2009 to assist the retrenched workers and the unemployed has been recently streamlined with a revised role and responsibility to attract and retain talents. The mission of CAT Centre is to rebrand Penang as the place to work and live, with a new motto “My Penang, My Workplace” emphasising opportunity, economics and liveability.
Penang can lead again by not only be a sweatshop but also the smartshop of the manufacturing industry in Malaysia.
Press Conference Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng After The investPenang Board Meeting In Penang On 19 May 2011