TAIWANESE firm Hotayi Electronic (M) Sdn Bhd has reinvested RM1bil to expand its production facility in Penang.
Its new 350,000sq ft plant in Batu Kawan adopts the concept of Industry 4.0 and incorporates energy conservation features to reduce its carbon footprint.
The firm which offers electronics manufacturing services globally has been operating in Bukit Tengah Industrial Park, Bukit Mertajam, since 1992.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who was at the opening ceremony of the plant, said the investment should increase Hotayi’s staff headcount to more than 1,000 people from 850 people in Penang.
“Hotayi made a bold move in its reinvestment plan here to become a strategic partner for smart manufacturing in the Asean region.
“The management of Hotayi has been actively cultivating new engineering talents and skilled workers, in line with the national policy of ‘lndustry4WRD’.
“Many of these new positions require technical skills.
“This is in line with the Government’s aspiration of enabling the private sector to create more high-quality good-paying jobs for Malaysians,” he said.
Lim said the world has changed remarkably since Hotayi first carried out its investment plan in Malaysia.
“Back then, we took the open trade framework and international cooperation for granted.
“Unfortunately, it is no longer the case with China and the United States engaging in a damaging trade war against each other.
“The trade dispute is escalating and is changing the global supply chain as manufacturers adapt to the new reality to avoid having to pay rising import duties.
“This seems to make Hotayi’s decision to reinvest in Malaysia somewhat ahead of its time,” he said.
Lim said Hotayi’s investment decision, which was made more than two years ago, might have been driven by the country’s highly-skilled workforce, excellent infrastructure, strong intellectual property protection and other advantages.
Also present were Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, state speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia representative Anne Hung, Hotayi Malaysia chairman Datuk Lee Hun Lung, Hotayi Malaysia managing director Goh Guek Eng, Invest Penang chief executive officer Datuk Loo Lee Lian, Seberang Prai Municipal Council president Datuk Rozali Mohamud and Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang.
Chow, in his speech, congratulated Hotayi for choosing to reinvest in the state like many other companies.
“I was informed that Hotayi has brought the latest technologies such as car plate and facial recognition, rainwater harvesting and building management system into its facility design,” he said.
He said that based on Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) latest figures, Penang attracted RM8.8bil of total approved manufacturing investments from January to March 2019.
He said Penang was leading other states in foreign direct investment (FDI), contributing 42% of Malaysia’s total manufacturing FDI in the first quarter of this year.
“I must also give credit to Hotayi as its principles and business profile are aligned with our Penang 2030 vision of a family- focused green and smart state that inspires the nation.
“It is also in line with our vision to upgrade the economy to raise household incomes through the advanced readiness of the manufacturing industry for the digital age and the green economy,” he said.
Lee, in his speech, said the new plant was completed in 10 months.
“We could not have achieved this much without the talent and dedication of all our employees and top-tiered customers,” he said.
“All these years of support have led to the opening of Hotayi Batu Kawan.
“We believe that this new extension of Hotayi along with Taiwan’s new southbound policy will stimulate Malaysia’s economy and strengthen economic ties between Malaysia and Taiwan.”