SUNGAI PETANI: The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) has approved grants totalling RM1.3 billion under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF) since the fund was established in July 2012 until July this year.

Mida Executive Director, Strategic Planning (Manufacturing), Zabidi Mahbar, said the allocation involved 264 projects with investment value of RM12.8 billion.

"The approved grants were in the form of training grant, research and development grant, certification for international standards as well as licensing and high technology procurement.

"Out of the figure, 76 projects in Penang, 13 in Kedah, 10 in Perak and one project in Perlis received DISF grants with investment value of RM5.2 billion," he told the media after attending the Northern Region Domestic Investment Seminar 2017 here, today.

He also urged all players to take advantage of the facilities provided by the government to enable them to shift to a higher value chain.

"Besides the DISF grant, industry players can also capitalise on the automation capital allowance (ACA) introduced under Budget 2015 to encourage the use of automation in manufacturing.

"The scheme provides ACA of 200 per cent for labour-intensive industries such as rubber, plastic, wood, furniture and textile to assist these companies undertake technology transformation," he said.

Up to June this year, only 41 applications were approved by Mida for this scheme and applications were expected to increase following the outreach programme carried out by the agency, he added.

Meanwhile, Zabidi said Mida was also planning an appropriate incentive to help local companies in technology transformation in line with the government’s announcement to create a special incentive for Industry 4.0.

"A high level task force that will formulate Industry 4.0 policy jointly led by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has been established to plan the policies, strategies and direction to develop Industry 4.0 in Malaysia.

"Mida is also cooperating with the task force to draw up the National Policy for Industry 4.0 that will be tabled at the Cabinet meeting in the fourth quarter of this year," he said.

Zabidi also said the investment growth momentum in the country had seemingly strengthened even though the numbers until the middle of this year had not been announced yet.

Meanwhile, the one-day seminar organised by Mida was attended by over 200 participants.

It aimed to increase the awareness among the business community on the investment opportunities as well as facilities provided by the government, besides opening a platform for them to interact directly with various institutions at the federal and state level. - BERNAMA

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