PETALING JAYA: Intel, the world’s largest chip maker,will invest US$230mil (RM870mil) in a new plant inKulim, creating 2,000 jobs.
The investment is one of the largest by a foreign firmin Malaysia in recent years and is a clear expression ofIntel's confidence in the country.
Intel currently has five facilities in Malaysia, employing10,000 people, which is about 10% of its global workforce.
Announcing the new investment, Intel chairmanDatuk Craig Barrett said Malaysia had become increasinglyintegral to Intel.
”Utilising the country’s technicallyskilled workforce allowsIntel to best serve our customersworldwide,” he said.
The new investment, whichis for an assembly and test siteand a design and developmentcentre, will be spread over acouple of years.
The new plant will startoperations in 2007.
Intel also has a board anddesign centre in Kulim, which isresponsible for the design anddevelopment of the largestnumber of Intel motherboardsworldwide.
Intel has invested US$3bil(RM11.3bil) here since startingoperations 33 years ago.
Five Intel sites in the countrymanufacture the latest productsand serve as pilot sites for someof the company’s products.
These facilities support almost afull range of Intel products.
The new facility in Kulim willinclude the creation of the PlatformCompatibility and EcosystemValidation Lab, which willfocus on supporting digital homeand digital office platformsand channel platform business.
“This expansion reflectsIntel’s long-term commitmentin supporting Malaysia’s economicdevelopment throughtechnology,” said Intel Malaysiaassembly and test managingdirector K.C. Yoon.
He said the investment innew facilities had strategicvalue to Intel not only from abusiness perspective, but alsoin the people it hired.
“Already, several employeesfrom Malaysia have contributedto our organisation in managementroles around the world,”he said.
Barrett said Intel was lookingto growing the engineering anddevelopment side of the businessin Malaysia instead of testingand assembly.
Asia is now the biggest marketfor Intel and the fastestgrowing among regions thatmake a sizeable contribution tothe electronic giant.
“We have a big presence inChina, India and Malaysia. Asiais our largest and fastest growingmarket and it is importantfrom a sales and marketing andresource standpoint,” he said.
The company announced earlierthis week a planned investmentof US$1bil (RM3.77bil) inIndia, which will feature aUS$250mil (RM942mil) venturecapital fund.
Barrett, who leaves for SriLanka after visiting Malaysia,had earlier in the week openedthe company’s fourth assemblyand test plant in China.
Barrett said that for South-East Asia to become an evenmore attractive investmentdestination, governmentswould have to continue upgradingeducational programmesand improve oncommunications and IT infrastructure.
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