STATE investment arm Invest Selangor Bhd has grand plans to make Selangor the global trade hub of Malaysia and is looking into various ways to achieve this target.
Selangor Investment Committee chairman for Industry and Commerce, Small and Medium Enterprises and Transportation, and senior executive councillor, Datuk Teng Chang Khim, said previously the state had been more focused on the manufacturing sector, but would now be increasing efforts to grow trade.
“We have been focusing on foreign direct investments for the manufacturing sector. But our statistics show that manufacturing contributes about 30% to Selangor’s gross domestic products (GDP) while services contribute about 58% to 60% of Selangor’s GDP.
“From the stats, it also shows that we have not put in enough effort into the services sector. We have a lot of potential for the trade side which we have not fully realised,” he said.
As such, Invest Selangor is taking its first step towards its goal with the upcoming inaugural Selangor International Expo (SIE) 2015, which will be held at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre from Nov 26 to 28.
The first two days of the expo are open only to registered trade owners, but the public will be able to visit SIE on Nov 28.
The expo will have 480 booths, 200 of which are taken up by foreign companies from countries such as China, Taiwan, India, Australia and Indonesia.
The expo will also have business-matching sessions.
In conjunction with SIE, Invest Selangor will also be organising three other simultaneous events, namely, the Asean Investment Conference 2015, Halal For All Seminar as well as the SITEC South-East Asia E-Commerce Conference.
These events will include various international speakers such as the European Union Halal Standards Committee chairman Prof Dr Saim Kayadibi and Steven Scrive of Amazon Global.
SIE is set to be an annual event and the state has budgeted for a five-year plan under the Selangor Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP).
“Through SIE, we want to promote Selangor as the economic powerhouse in Malaysia.
“It will also be a platform to promote local SME products to overseas traders.
“We are also encouraging foreign traders to come here.
“This is the beginning of building towards our global trading hub,” said Teng.
He added that the state was also looking into plans for a 40.5ha site to bring the different components of trade together to create an ecosystem for trade activities.
The state is in the process of identifying the site.
He envisions the site to have an expo and convention centre, wholesale city, logistics services, free trade zone and financial services, among others, to make it conducive for international trade to take place there.
Teng added that there were many factors in Selangor that had yet to be fully exploited for trade to grow, including its world-class infrastructure, a mature logistics system and a skilled workforce.
Additionally, Selangor is strategically located in the region.
“We are aware of Selangor’s strategic location, but have never realised that it was so important. We are surrounded by more than half the world’s population.
“We are in the heart of South-East Asia, and we are near China, Japan, Korea, Australia, India and the Middle East. This makes up about 3.7 billion population.
“And, with China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, a lot of traffic will be passing through the Straits of Malacca – Selangor’s port is the only port along that route.
“This is our potential. With that, we are going to create a global trading hub in Selangor,” he said.
“If this is fully unleashed, we can improve on what we have. So we should do something about it.
“We need a centre that can put all these together – the trade activities and the financial activities, in the same area.
“But before we reach there, we need some experience, hence the expo. So there is a very big target for SIE,” Teng continued .
SIE exhibitors are from a vast range of industries such as electrical and electronics, life sciences, halal development, transport equipment, machinery and equipment, government departments and agencies, Selangor state-linked companies and chambers of commerce.
For details or to register for the conferences, visit www.selangorexpo.com