KUALA LUMPUR: Kedah attracted approved investments totalling RM1.29bil in the manufacturing sectors from January to September last year, creating 1,543 job opportunities.
Senior Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) official Zabidi Mahbar said on Thursday these 26 projects were mainly in non-metallic mineral products, transport equipment, E&E, machinery and equipment, rubber products, and fabricated metal products.
Zabidi, who is MIDA executive director for strategic planning (manufacturing), said Kedah is one of the oldest states in Malaysia and has captivating history behind it.
“In fact, there is more to this ‘Rice Bowl State’ than just paddy fields. In term of investments, there are 1,142 manufacturing projects implemented in Kedah with total investments of RM51.28 billion as at December 2016.
“These projects have created over 150,000 job opportunities for the state,” he said.
He was speaking at the MIDA Invest Series event held on Thursday, themed, “Unfolding states business potential” that took place at the MIDA headquarters in collaboration with Invest Kedah.
He said there are 10 industrial parks available in Kedah, including the Kulim High Tech Park (KHTP) that has a strong presence of multinationals from the electrical and electronics industry.
Total foreign direct investment in Kulim High Tech Park is currently amounted to RM42.3bil.
Among them include Intel, First Solar, Silterra, Infineon Technologies, Fuji Electrics and Osram. Osram had recently opened its new semiconductor plant in KHTP.
With Osram’s state-of-the-art facility, Malaysia now has the world’s most advanced LED chip factory.
Kedah has the advantage of providing a constant supply of talents due to the availability of more than 38 higher learning institutions including universities, colleges and training institutes.
Zabidi said Kedah Industrial Skills & Management Development Centre has been actively collaborating with companies operating in Kedah to provide an industry ready workforce.
The government, through MIDA has established a Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF) to speed up the shift of Malaysian-owned companies in targeted industries to high value-added, high technology, knowledge-intensive and innovation-based industries.
He highlighted that under DISF, MIDA has approved 270 projects with investments of RM13bil as at December 2017.
For Kedah, a total of RM83.9bil was granted for 14 manufacturing projects worth RM702.3 million.
MIDA Invest Series is an ongoing initiative undertaken by MIDA since early January 2018 to promote a competitive economy with equitable development among all states in Malaysia.