FREPENCA: A History of Innovative Industrial Support Measures

By Rachel Yeoh

April 2023 FEATURE
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Current fire station at Jalan Tengah which replaced the original built in 1987 funded by FREPENCA companies.
PENANG’S industrialisation started when Bayan Lepas, the “rice bowl” of the island, was turned into a Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) in 1972. This first free-trade zone in Malaysia propelled the manufacturing sector to become the major contributor to Penang’s economy, and it continues to do so today, half a century later.As hundreds of multinational engineering, biotech and semiconductor firms blossomed in Penang, the need to synergise their activities became a serious challenge.In 1979, the Free Trade Zone, Penang, Companies’ Association...

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Rachel Yeoh

is a former journalist who traded her on-the-go job for a life behind the desk. For the sake of work-life balance, she participates in Penang's performing arts scene after hours.