A Post-Industrial Future for Penang?

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There have been calls to transform Penang into a services-driven economy and scale back its manufacturing industry. But the global economy, says Penang Institute CEO Zairil Khir Johari, shows that this would be a grave mistake.

The advent of the digital era, characterised by seamless and instantaneous transfer of information and unprecedented levels of global interconnectedness, has seen a paradigm shift in social, political and economic strategies worldwide.

In fact, it is commonly said that the world has entered into “the knowledge revolution or knowledge economy”, which some have argued to be “the latest phase of capitalism”1. In this age of knowledge, mobile capital and the easy spread of technology have meant that the production of goods have increasingly shifted to low cost countries.

“This is a natural progression, especially for developed economies,” notes international investment banker Julian Candiah.


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