Penang: A Sustainable Investment Location Virtual Dialogue Session with Embassies, Trade Commissioners & Consultants
Penang: A Sustainable Investment Location
Virtual Dialogue Session with Embassies, Trade Commissioners & Consultants
19 April 2021
Speech by YAB Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang
Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Seri Lee Kah Choon
Special Advisor to YAB Chief Minister
Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Loo Lee Lian
CEO of Invest Penang
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to be invited to this dialogue session organized by InvestPenang. My warmest welcome to all the invited guests with us today. Today’s session “Penang: A Sustainable Investment Location”, mainly concerns on how Penang, as the second smallest state by land area in Malaysia, continues to punch above its weight and develops a sustainable environment conducive for advanced manufacturing, R&D and other knowledge-intensive activities for innovation and invention.
True to its reputation as the Silicon Valley of the East, Penang has continued to excel in our key promoted industries, namely E&E, M&E and Medtech. Remarkably, the State’s exports in semiconductor had accounted for about 5% of the global exports in 2019, attesting the significance of Penang as one of the biggest E&E manufacturing and assembling hubs in the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All around the world, people are searching for ways to strike a balance among the competing priorities in order to create sustainable solutions for their communities. In Penang, we are in the same vein. It is not a brief foray but a continuous attempt for us to partake in this journey where we work towards achieving social inclusivity, environmental sustainability and economic development.
A report developed by the World Economic Forum in 2020 has found that the technology adoption in Industrial Revolution 4.0 is able to fast track 70% of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Addressing that, I would like to share Penang’s smart city plan. In Penang, we have more than 70 initiatives that touch on smart government, mobility, environment, the economy and our community. Some of these initiatives are done in collaboration with the private sector. I am truly keen on such collaboration and cooperation as they have brought many creative ideas for sustainable development into fruition.
From the industry, we have also witnessed increasing number of manufacturing firms and offices that integrated sustainability concept in their building architecture as well as operations with much enthusiasm. Hence, in Penang, we are all in strong belief that sustainable manufacturing bodes well economically and environmentally.
Having said that, I must point out that economic growth is not limited to mere financial returns. It must also be able to provide resources at the community and State level so that we can develop better to serve society, while protecting the environment at the same time.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A full year had passed since the country started to face repercussions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Being the State Government, we understand the need to take prompt reaction and have indeed remained committed to recoup our strength, with the utmost priority to protect public health and to improve our economic conditions.
Towards this end, Penang had allocated over RM170 million (US$42 million) under the Penang People's Aid Packages for affected households and businesses. Aside from implementing a series of campaigns to cultivate new norms among the community as well as other efforts to empower the economy, the State Government is also ready and has mobilized its entire machinery for the success of the National COVID-19 Immunization Programme. Our aim is to have a smooth, safe and orderly implementation of mass vaccination and as of 15 April 2021, 72,033 of front-liners in Penang have completed their vaccination or received their first dose.
We have also set up the Penang Socio-Economic Recovery Consultative Council (PSERCC) Working Committee with the purpose of formulating short and medium-term strategies to stimulate economic growth, attract foreign and local investments and ensure sustainable socio-economic development for the well-being of the people. This working committee formed by representatives from the private sector and government is tasked to identify the current challenges and propose appropriate remedial measures to regain the State’s momentum for economic recovery and stability at an immediate pace.
In line with the post-pandemic phase of COVID-19 (with the smooth rolling out of the vaccination programme), the State Government is taking proactive measures to adjust and improve, by having relevant and targeted strategies to restore and boost the state's economic resilience while transforming Penang into a “family-focused green and smart state that inspires the nation” as envisaged in the Penang2030 vision.
I am confident that Penang has the ability to grab the vast opportunities from the global supply chain reconfiguration, anchoring its position as a sustainable investment location with strong determination, commitment and synergy among her people.