Singapore manufacturing firms see good performance in Iskandar, Malaysia

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Iskandar Malaysia has attracted investments worth a combined 133 billion ringgit (S$51 billion) as of January this year, some eight years after it was established.

According to the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), a statutory body tasked with driving development in the region, 35 per cent of that investment is from foreign countries, of which Singapore accounts for 24 per cent.

About three years ago, Singapore manufacturer HPH Technologies expanded into Iskandar Malaysia to address the issues of space constraint and labour shortage in Singapore.

The company manufactures components to support security-related and semiconductor equipment industries.

It currently has two factories in the economic zone, set up at a cost of S$15 million.

HPH said it has seen business revenue double since its expansion there and reaped 30 per cent savings in labour cost.

The company hires about 130 workers in total, of which 70 are located in Iskandar Malaysia. It also plans to boost its headcount by some 30 per cent by the end of the year.

Its managing director, Lim Hak Poh, welcomed the recent announcement that Singapore will help Malaysia upgrade its vocational training.

He said: “The problem here is (skilled) manpower and our industry needs skilled manpower.

“If we can reach out to the secondary schools across Malaysia, offer them (students) training and apprenticeship, and… bring them to the Singapore companies operating in Iskandar, that would encourage a lot of Singapore companies to move here.”

As of January this year, nearly 47 billion ringgit — about 35 per cent of total investments in Iskandar Malaysia — is from foreign countries.

“Singapore has been for a while now the largest source of investments in Iskandar Malaysia — 11 billion ringgit or S$4.2 billion — primarily in areas of broad manufacturing sectors, education, healthcare as well as property,” said Ismail Ibrahim, chief executive of IRDA.

Mr Ismail said manufacturing forms the backbone of Iskandar Malaysia and the state of Johor’s economy.

He added that development plans will focus on sectors like electronics, petrochemical and food processing. IRDA said the manufacturing sector received 47.8 billion ringgit worth of investments as of January 2014.

“We would like to see… the manufacturing sector (continue) to be in the higher level of the manufacturing value chain, and we want world-class manufacturing,” said Mr Ismail.

“We are actually targeting the technology-intensive kind of manufacturing facilities that are not totally dependent on low-cost labour industries.”

Apart from the manufacturing sector, Mr Ismail said Singapore and Iskandar Malaysia can also work together in areas including environmental management, and arts and culture.





Source : Channel News Asia | April 9, 2014


About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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