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Sunday January 21, 2007

Transforming into an industrial economy


KEDAH, the rice bowl of Malaysia, is fast growing from an agriculture-based economy to an industrial economy. 

It has started attracting foreign direct investment by the billions. 

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said that Kedah can expect at least RM4bil in foreign direct investment (FDI) this year. 

Kedah is enjoying a sound macro economic environment with Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) growth exceeding 6%, increasing FDI and robust growth in industrial production specifically in hi-tech, biotech and manufacturing sectors. 

More than 460 manufacturing companies have set up operations in 25 industrial parks in Alor Star, Jitra, Bukit Kayu Hitam, Sungai Petani, Tikam Batu, Kuala Ketil and Kulim. 

Gurun, is poised to be the automotive city in the northern region with the existence of the NAZA automotive manufacturing plant. Gurun also houses Petronas Fertilizer, Perwaja Steel and MODENAS Manufacturing. 

Kulim Hi-Tech City, dubbed the Science City of the Future, is a self-contained township housing 35 multinational and local high-technology companies including Intel, Sony, Celestica, Sumitomo, Silterra, Fuji Electric and Infineon. 

The RM21bil hi-tech park that boasts high quality infrastructure and facilities is poised to be the national centre for advanced technology manufacturing, ICT, nanotechnology and biotechnology. 

Mahdzir said Kedah offers enormous business opportunities ranging from hi-tech, bio-tech, research and development, power generation, healthcare, petroleum refining, education to agricultural product manufacturing. 

InvestKedah is promoting itself as the ultimate profit centre. 

Kedah is also tapping its potential in the tourism industry. 

The world-renowned island Langkawi is part of Kedah. 

Kedah is now aggressively promoting potential attractions on mainland Kedah with the catchy tagline ‘Mainland Kedah - More to discover’. 

Among the better-known attractions on mainland Kedah are Tree Top Walk in Sedim, Lembah Bujang Archaeological Museum, Sungai Merbok, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s birth place in Alor Star and the Padi Museum at the foot of Gunung Keriang. 

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