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Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry and Datuk Phang Ah Tong, Deputy CEO of MIDA.
Malaysia is moving to keep pace with the rapid and radical changes in the manufacturing industry, with the launching of a study on ‘Future of Manufacturing in Malaysia’. The study is a collaboration among the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), the University of Malaya and the Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka.
“Malaysia is now moving towards strategic diversification to increase competitiveness, particularly in exports, by focusing on complex and high-value products, or also known as frontier products. The continued growth of the manufacturing sector in Malaysia relies strongly on the adoption of smart manufacturing processes and technologies. For Malaysia to be more competitive, our manufacturing sector is increasingly being encouraged to adopt and embrace automation and smart manufacturing concepts,” said Datuk Phang Ah Tong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MIDA during the business luncheon organised by MIDA in conjunction with the World Economic Forum (WEF) ASEAN at Shangri-La Hotel yesterday.
Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) officiated the launching of the study, which was kicked-off during a closed-door session with notable industry leaders and academia at the Concorde Hotel earlier in the morning.
The study aims to provide a deeper analysis on issues related to technological and economic aspects of investments in the manufacturing ecosystem in Malaysia. Highlighting the benefits of the study, Datuk Phang said, “As MIDA aims at generating quality investments in new and emerging technologies, the outcome of the study will aid our efforts in strategising for the future roadmap and ecosystem for Malaysia as a natural FDI destination, together with relevant domestic investments.
“This will later translate into recommendations and action plans such as suitable incentive packages, promotional strategies and targeted industries. This study will also be used to identify emerging technologies to be adopted and industry areas to be enhanced as a better understanding of the requirements for enablers and regulatory bodies.”
During the business luncheon, Dato’ Sri Mustapa said that the changes in the manufacturing industry worldwide are impacting people, governments and businesses.
“These changes are driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices, unprecedented processing power, growing storage capacity and faster access to knowledge. This industrial revolution, better known as Industry 4.0, is paving the way to a future that will re-shape not just industries, but also in how people live, work and play,” he said.
Dato’ Sri Mustapa added that Malaysia is determined to ensure that the local manufacturing industry keeps pace with these changes to help the nation remain competitive in the global market. To date, Malaysia has implemented 165 projects to manufacture robotics and automation equipment for various industries.
There are also more than 35 local System Integrators such as Kobay Technology, ViTrox, Genetec, Greatech, RC Precision, Pentamaster and Keu Control that can provide integrated automated solutions for high-tech industries. The presence of renowned global manufacturers  such as ABB, KUKA (regional offices) and Hirata Engineering which actively pursue  the development and production of robotic arms have also led to technological progress, skills development and outsourcing requirements for this sub-sector.