GEORGE TOWN: Five goldsmith and jewellery manufacturing firms will invest RM49.6mil to start a gold and jewellery cluster at the Batu Kawan Industrial Park (BKIP).
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the five companies that were part of the Penang Goldsmith Association would take up about 1.6ha at the BKIP.
“Penang is the pioneer in the gold and jewellery industry and the Penang Goldsmith Association is one of the oldest trade association in Penang established in 1832 and has strength of more than 400 companies, mostly local companies, in the gold and jewellery industry.
“The gold jewellery exports in 2016 for Malaysia is valued at RM7.2bil and out of the RM7.2bil exports, Penang gold and jewellery industry exports contributed about RM6.1bil export or equivalent to about 85%,” he told a press conference in George Town on Thursday.
He said Penang companies export jewellery and gold to more than 20 countries such as Japan, United States, Germany, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore.
“We hope that the entry of these five companies in BKIP will strengthen Penang’s position as a major gold finishing hub, create higher value jobs and income opportunities for craftsmen and other stakeholders in the industry,” he said.
Lim said construction was set to start either in the second half of this year or the first half of next year, pending relevant approvals from the authorities.
He said there was still space for other similar firms in the cluster.
Penang Goldsmith Association adviser and immediate past chairman George Lo Siew Cheong said the investment by the five companies would create about 730 jobs and these new jobs included high value professional gold jeweler goldsmith craftsman jobs. - Bernama