Major US firms disclose plans to expand to Malaysia


NEW YORK: Two major United States (US) electrical and electronic firms are set to expand their operations to Malaysia, one of which is expected to invest at least RM500 million.

At the same time, Alton Industry Ltd Group (Alton Group) -- a global supplier of consumer and commercial tools, appliances and floor care -- will be investing a minimum of RM500 million to set up its manufacturing and research and development (R&D) base in Johor, said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

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The plan for the new facility, scheduled for completion in 2024, was disclosed during a meeting here between the minister and David Lu, the president and chief executive officer of Alton Group.

"Another company, which I am not able to name for the moment, will be investing a significant sum in Penang. Both Alton Group and this company have operations in China and they want to expand to Malaysia,” he told a press conference here.

According to Tengku Zafrul, Alton Group’s decision to set up its manufacturing and R&D facility in Malaysia reflected the group’s confidence in the country's attractiveness as an investment destination.

The investment also perfectly aligns with Malaysia's recently launched New Industrial Master Plan 2030, which aims to create an investment-friendly environment and rapidly embrace technology to elevate the manufacturing sector’s ecosystem, he said.

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"These companies want to diversify their supply chain, and they are also looking to bring in their suppliers into Malaysia, thus firmly establishing Malaysia as a global technology and innovation hub,” the minister said.

During the meeting with Tengku Zafrul, the group also laid out its plan to invest over RM2 billion over the next seven years for its expansion and growth.

Meanwhile, another US firm, Top-Line Furniture Corporation (Top-Line) has expressed its intention to increase its imports from Malaysia over the next few years to RM230 million per year.

The company has been sourcing home furniture from Malaysia since 2000, with total imports amounting to approximately RM840 million to-date.

Tengku Zafrul said the large furniture importer and wholesale distributor based in Chicago, Illinois has a significant network of distribution centres throughout North America, and supplies to five of the largest furniture companies in the Mid-West region.

Malaysia exported RM13.86 billion of furniture globally in 2022, with the US being its top export destination at RM7.24 billion or 52.2 per cent of the nation’s total furniture exports last year.

Malaysia was the US’ sixth largest source of imported furniture in 2022, accounting for 2.78 per cent of the US’ total furniture and bedding import value, he said.

In a statement issued by MIDA, Alton Group said it is proud to expand its global footprint and develop its operations in Malaysia with the planned opening of its new manufacturing facility in Johor Bahru.

"This new facility will enable us to support our global customers and allow expansion to other markets quickly.

"The incentives from the federal, state and local governments, in addition to the support in terms of infrastructure makes this a good investment move for the group,” it said.

The group operates in over 75 countries worldwide, with offices in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Europe and the United States, and the facility in Johor Bahru will serve as a global R&D centre for its new technology platforms. - Bernama

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