Penang Monthly was pleased to have participated in this event on May 22 and met with approximately 200 heads from the SME enterprises in the industry. It was a very comprehensive program, with talks from investPenang, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), SME Corp, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Halal Industry Development Corporation, SIRIM and Dell.
The event was officiated by our Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng, who spoke enthusiastically regarding Penang’s success at attracting FDI, as well as beating other cities such as Kuala Lumpur two years in a row in most livable city rankings. He attributed this success to Penang’s human capital, and stressed the importance of attracting our human talent, which he described as the “oil” of the 21st century, back to Penang and to build a Penang brand. He also stressed that Penang is unique in Malaysia in its 3-pronged approach towards growing our SME industry.
Ms. Loo Lee Lian, GM of investPenang gave a good overview of Penang’s progress in attracting FDI, delving into details of major sources of FDI by country, sector and also touched on specific FDI projects. She also mapped out the state’s development plan going forward, how Penang would like to develop more industries with inelastic demand such as food processing, developing Penang as a halal manufacturing hub, Penang as a regional Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) hub, as well as our medical devices and medical tourism industry. This is to reduce Penang’s reliance on the fluctuations in the global electronics and engineering market.
It was a successful event with opportunities for SME leaders to meet with relevant state and national bodies set-up specifically to aid this sector, for them to air their concerns, receive support and create a dialogue. We also got to hear about new regulations in the future regarding carbon trading, as well as explore further opportunities in the marketplace such as in the halal sector, taking advantage of our free trade agreements, receiving aid in all areas of business management and building up a competitive supply chain in the global marketplace.