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Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft, including the Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flanker during the LIMA 19 exhibition in Langkawi. - NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

LANGKAWI: Malaysia has the right ingredients to be an outsourcing centre for aerospace products and services as the industry has been showing positive growth.

International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) secretary-general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali said the country was recognised globally for its design and manufacturing capabilities of composites, aircraft components and avionic systems.

Apart from that, he said, Malaysia had continuously attracted investments, both domestically and internationally, maintaining strong supply chains and was an important partner to global players such as Airbus, Boeing and Rolls Royce.

“Investment promotional efforts made by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and other relevant agencies have resulted in the increased participation of both foreign investors and local companies.

“From 2013 to 2017, there have been 39 projects in the aerospace industry with cumulative investments of RM8.2 billion.

“In 2018 alone, the industry attracted 11 projects worth RM816.3 million in approved investments, of which 41 per cent came from foreign sources,” he told delegates in a seminar entitled “Gearing Up Towards Future Technologies” during the ongoing Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition 2019 (Lima 2019).

Lokman said foreign companies that already had a presence in Malaysia included GKN Aerospace, GE Engine, Spirit AeroSystems and Safran Landing Systems.

These companies have contributed towards building up the local supply chain for local small and medium enterprises (SME).

“Among the local companies that are already part of the global supply chain are UMW Aerospace, SME Aerospace, CTRM Aero Composite, Sepang Aircraft Engineering and Airod,” he said.

Touching on attracting quality investments into the sector, Lokman said the government highly encouraged strategic collaborations between local vendors and multinational companies (MNC) to explore mutually profitable business opportunities.

“Given the growing demand for commercial aircraft in the Asia Pacific region, we are confident that the aerospace industry in Malaysia will remain a vibrant and thriving industry for many years to come.

“Technology transfer is necessary as the next step for industry excellence and we want our local players to emulate best practices and stay relevant in the global business landscape,” he said, adding that MIDA had undertaken the Industrial Linkages Programme (ILP) on aerospace for companies to explore business and investments opportunities through strategic partnerships and joint ventures.

The ILP provides incentives and duty exemptions to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) that use local components.

The seminar, which is part of Miti and Mida’s ongoing engagements to promote the aerospace industry, highlighted three key points: Malaysia as an aerospace hub, strategic collaborations to attract quality investments and initiatives in ensuring a sustainable talent pipeline.

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