(Left to right) Alfred Goh, President, Global Fast Growing Enterprise and Regional Head, CSI Asia Pacific, DHL; Datuk Khairil Anwar Ahmad, President/CEO of Iskandar Investment; Adib Azhari bin Daud, Mayor of Iskandar Puteri; Philip Chu, Managing Director, GCOE Iskandar Malaysia and Akmal Ahmad, Chief Operating Officer, Iskandar Investment. [Pix provided]

JOHOR: Global logistics company DHL will set up its first Global Centre of Excellence (GCOE) in Malaysia at Iskandar Malaysia, the company announced today.

The centre, which is expected to be operational in the second quarter of this year, will be set up by DHL in collaboration with Iskandar Innovations Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iskandar Investment Bhd.

The GCOE will provide supply chain consultancy services, and support businesses to design logistics solutions specific to some of Iskandar's key industries including Automotive, Energy, Engineering & Manufacturing, Life Sciences & Healthcare and Technology.

The centre also has the capabilities to power the region's logistics ambitions with networking sessions and workshops where companies and industry experts come together to share best practices, to brainstorm innovative ideas that will form the future of Iskandar Malaysia.

"We want to create an ecosystem within Iskandar Malaysia and to establish a single network that is conducive to all companies to explore and set up business in the region as their gateway to markets around the world," GCOE Iskandar Malaysia managing director Philip Chu said in a statement.

"Coupled with DHL's sector-specific experience, it will underpin the bespoke logistics solutions that the GCOE will offer to the local industry."

Iskandar Investment president and chief executive officer Datuk Khairil Anwar Ahmad, meanwhile, said the creation of the GCOE will push the Iskandar region to the next level.

"A strong base of logistics solutions and talent will not only allow the Iskandar region to achieve its ambitions of becoming an ASEAN supply chain hub, but also provide vital trade connectivity between its core industries and overseas markets where opportunities are aplenty," he said.

"As Iskandar's population and foreign investment levels continue to rise steadily, the GCOE will play a strategic role in creating the job opportunities and export growth that underpin the region's economic plans for the future."

DHL president, Global Fast Growing Enterprise and Regional head, Customer Solutions and Innovation Asia Pacific, Alfred Goh said the new GCOE could be linked to other GCOEs in the group.

"The establishment of the GCOE will bring Iskandar's supply chain capabilities up to speed with those of other logistics hubs in the region, including nearby Singapore where DHL has already run a Supply Chain Centre of Excellence (SCCE) for the last 10 years," he said.

"By complementing pure logistics skills and solutions with broader business development, market insights, and networking with key decision-makers around the world, we believe the GCOE will help Iskandar align its logistics investments with global demand and market forces more closely than ever before."

DHL had in 2007 established a similar SCCE in neighboring Singapore that delivered multi-million-dollar returns within its first 36 months of operation.

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