30% FDI boost expected in Penang: UOB

  • Mainly electronics and semiconductor companies China, Taiwan and Singapore
  • Penang contributed nearly 20% to Malaysia’s overall FDI inflows in 2015
30% FDI boost expected in Penang: UOB

UNITED Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia) said that the number of its overseas clients, especially those from the electronics and semiconductor industries, investing in Penang will increase by 30% over the next 12 months.
These companies, mainly from China, Taiwan and Singapore, are looking to tap into Penang’s cost-effective manufacturing and electronics infrastructure, and have ambitions to extend their reach in South-East Asia, UOB Malaysia said in a statement.
Strategically located at the northern tip of the Straits of Malacca, Penang is one of Malaysia’s most successful investment hubs, the bank said.
It attracts significant foreign investment given its strong business ecosystem including a highly-skilled labour force, stringent intellectual property protection laws, and a robust manufacturing supply chain supported by more than 300 multinational corporations.
According to the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), Penang contributed nearly 20% to Malaysia’s overall FDI (foreign direct investment) inflows in 2015, the highest among Malaysian states. This is a 7% increase from the previous year’s inflows.
Kevin Lam, deputy chief executive officer and head of Wholesale Banking at UOB Malaysia, said that the bank’s regional corporate clients see Penang as more than just a manufacturing base.
“Despite the muted global economic outlook, Penang remains an attractive expansion destination for our regional corporate clients,” he said.
“They are tapping into its favourable business conditions and the rising consumption power of South-East Asia’s growing middle class population to seek long-term growth in the region,” he added.
To help clients seize business opportunities in Penang, UOB Malaysia partnered government promotion agencies Mida and InvestPenang to share insights on the state’s investment potential during a half-day forum held in Singapore on March 30.
About 100 participants attended the event, which is part of the UOB FDI Asean Series that aims to help companies appreciate the different business environments in South-East Asia.
UOB Malaysia will hold its second investment forum in Kuala Lumpur later this year.
UOB Malaysia’s FDI Advisory Unit has also collaborated with Mida and other agencies such as the Iskandar Region Development Authority (IRDA), the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) to position Malaysia as a key investment destination in South-East Asia.
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