MIDA strategic planning (manufacturing) executive director Zabidi Mahbar says Sabah is certainly one of the recipients of such investments. As at December 2016, a total of 757 manufacturing projects with investments worth RM19.7 billion have been implemented in the state. Pix by BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is aggressively undertaking various efforts to assist industry players in embracing Industry 4.0 through the adoption of automation and smart manufacturing.

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) strategic planning (manufacturing) executive director Zabidi Mahbar said Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and MIDA are heavily involved in formulating strategies and conducting related research.

“The research includes the “Future of Manufacturing” Study on the 3+2 catalytic and high growth potential sectors identified under the 11th Malaysia Plan and the National Plan for Industry 4.0,” he said in his keynote address during the East Malaysia Domestic Investment Seminar in Sabah, today.

He said both research documents are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2018.

“Since 2015, the government has provided a facility in the form of Automation Capital Allowance for automation expenditure to assist manufacturing companies in embracing this new concept,” he added.

As at October 2017, MIDA has approved a total of 71 applications of which two applications approved were from Sabah.

In the recent Budget 2018, the government highlighted several new incentive packages to accelerate the growth and adoption of smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 in Malaysia.

“With these facilities in place, we would like to encourage more companies to adopt smart manufacturing technologies and processes that will in return serve them well by reducing dependency on foreign labour, improve productivity and enhance their long term competitiveness,” Zabidi said.

He pointed out as the principal investment promotion agency of Malaysia, MIDA seeks to attract quality investments, which would have spillover effects towards generating greater prosperity for Malaysians.

“Sabah is certainly one of the recipients of such investments. As at December 2016, a total of 757 manufacturing projects with investments worth RM19.7 billion have been implemented in the state,” he said.

Zabidi said there are more than 91,000 Sabahans have benefitted from these projects through employment and Sabah continues to attract additional approved investments of more than RM400 million this year.

The approved investments include in the services sector particularly the hotel and tourism; energy generation and conservation projects, and in the manufacturing sector in the first half of 2017.

“We know that a comprehensive ecosystem will be a natural magnet for investments. With that in mind, the government continues to undertake concerted efforts to put in place the required enablers that will support investors in doing their business in this country.

“We are optimistic the latest infrastructure development project such as the Pan Borneo Highway will be an impetus to attract more quality investments into East Malaysia, particularly in the targeted sectors such as petroleum products, chemical and chemical products, oil & gas, building materials, food manufacturing, furniture, tourism and agriculture,” Zabidi said.

More than 200 industry players attended the one-day programme, which was part of MIDA’s continuous efforts to update the industry players especially in East Malaysia on the latest policies and facilities that are available.

It also featured two plenary sessions moderated by Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and Persatuan Usahawan Maju Malaysia (PUMM) and key speakers from MIDA, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp), Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia (SME Bank), Malaysian Industrial Development Finance (MIDF), and Credit Guarantee Corporation (CGC).

The event also featured business clinic sessions that enabled participants to engage and obtain direct consultations with various agencies at both federal and state levels.

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