Opening Ceremony of TAIWAN EXPO 2019 in Malaysia
Speech by The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Penang
YAB Chow Kon Yeow
Venue︰Setia SPICE Convention Centre, Penang
July 5, 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good afternoon and welcome to Penang!
It is indeed an honour for me to be here this afternoon for the Opening Ceremony of Taiwan Expo 2019. On behalf of the Penang State Government, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA in short) for selecting Penang as the venue for its international exhibition.
To my knowledge, the TAIWAN EXPO has emerged as the biggest platform for Taiwanese companies to interact with businesses from Malaysia, other ASEAN and South Asian countries since 2017, featuring exhibits such as Smart City, Green Tech, Taiwan lifestyle, halal, health and beauty, as well as tourism. Over the past two years, TAITRA has already held 10 exhibitions in 6 cities across 6 countries, attracting a total of 1,600 exhibitors and 230,000 visitors. The latest exhibition in Penang, Malaysia will be the 11th outing by TAITRA which is expected to bring the total visitor number to 250,000.
In line with the goals of its New Southbound Policy, Taiwan has developed close ties with the ASEAN region with positive results, especially in areas such as technology, trade and business. The region is today the second largest export and investment destination for Taiwan. Malaysia, being its long-term trade and business partner, will continue to work closely with Taiwan for mutual trade benefits. And Penang, recognized as an eminent industrialized state in Malaysia, will certainly strive to be Taiwan's favourite destination for investment and sustainable economic partnership.
Penang has an open economy with more than 95% of our GDP derived from manufacturing and services industries. Also known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the East' for our E&E industry, Penang occupies the top echelons of one of Malaysia's most vital economic powerhouses. In the first quarter of this year itself, Penang had successfully attracted investments of RM8.85 billion in the manufacturing sector, representing 35% of Malaysia’s total approved investment and has consistently ranked among the top investment destinations in the country over the last five decades.
Our GDP per capita is the highest among all Malaysian states and is considered a high-income economy. Penang, furthermore, also recorded the nation's second highest Human Development Index, after Kuala Lumpur. Apart from having a thriving electrical and electronics sector, we are also endued with rising tourism industry and a UNESCO World Heritage status. Penang is also a green state in Malaysia en-route to become the premier destination to invest, learn, work, play and eat.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Penang State Government is indeed committed to transform Penang into an international city and to make it as the most preferred location for investors, tourists as well as for Malaysians who desire a sustainable living. With the unveiling of Penang2030 vision- A Family-focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation, Penang is inspired to build a comprehensive ecosystem by embracing and adopting smart technology to meet the needs of Industry 4.0. It is, therefore, timely for us to be innovative, imaginative and resolute, with an open mind to turn ideas into actions, whilst learning from others in order to grow and improve.
In respect to this, I believe the contents of Taiwan Expo 2019 are very much in line with Penang2030 Vision, such as Green technology, smart city, healthcare, and many other interrelated fields. Thus, I strongly urge all entrepreneurs to actively participate in Taiwan Expo 2019 to create new business networks, gather the latest market information and explore cross border trade opportunities with an open mind and aim for continuous growth and improvement for the betterment of all.
Last but not least, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the TAITRA management and organizing team for organizing this remarkable event. And to all stakeholders, participants and visitors alike, while you actively engage in this Expo, I also hope that you will take the time to discover the charm, food, beauty and diversity of Penang if time avails.
Once again, I wish all of you a fruitful and rewarding time at the Taiwan Expo 2019.