Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (third from left) handing over MIDA’s approval letter for additional investments to Jerry Rawls, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Finisar Corporation (third from right) in a meeting held in San Francisco. The Sunnyvale-based company will invest a further RM400 million to expand its Malaysian operations in Perak. Bernama Photo

SAN FRANCISCO: Finisar Corporation, a leading US technology company, is very upbeat on Malaysia and will invest a further RM400 million to expand its Malaysian operations in Perak.

Finisar, which has invested US$160 million in Perak so far, may not be a household name but the company’s contribution to Perak’s economy is enormous.

It is the biggest employer among multinational firms operating in Perak with 7,000 workers. And it contributes 25 per cent of Perak’s manufacturing GDP and five per cent of Perak GDP.

Jerry Rawls, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Sunnyvale, California-based firm, said half of its global workforce of 14,000 are in its Chemor facility in Perak.

Why Malaysia?

“Malaysia is good for the company. We have good workers, loyal workers, stable employment, easy trade, good infrastructure, good communication infrastructure, weather is always good.”

“No shut down. No volcano. No earthquake. Unlike our plant in Eastern Europe, sometimes we have to shut down due to icing snow,” he told reporters here.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was in San Francisco as part of his working trip to California, met Rawls on the sidelines of a US-Malaysia business luncheon on Wednesday and handed over MIDA’s approval letter for additional investments to Rawls.

“This is the biggest company in Perak in terms of workers. It will add a further 250 workers with the additional investments.

“This will bring total Finisar investments in Malaysia to RM1 billion and will generate returns on investments of RM38.5 billion in 10 years,” Najib said.

Finisar is the world's largest supplier of optical communication products.

It is a global technology leader for fiber optic subsystems and components that enable high-speed voice, video and data communications for telecommunications, networking, storage, wireless, and cable TV applications.

For years, Finisar has provided critical optics technologies to system manufacturers to meet the increasing demands for network bandwidth.

Rawls said Finisar initially had only 40 workers when it started operation in Chemor in 2001.

“We expect to hire more people. We expect to expand our 100,000 sq feet plant in Chemor. We are the world’s largest fibre optic transmitter and receiver producer.”

Rawls took over as Finisar Chairman in 2008 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer last year.