The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) 45th annual dinner provided an insight of the direction the state’s manufacturing sector going forward. The dinner was officiated by YB Dato’ Mohammad Zahir Abdul Khalid, the state exco for industry, investment and corridor development who represented Perak Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir. Also present were FMM Perak Chairman Dato’ Gan Tak Kong and FMM Vice President Dato’ Saw Choo Boon.
In Zambry’s speech read by Muhammad Zahir he noted that the current global economic scenario is a concern. Although domestic demand remained strong, nevertheless exports had declined. As such Bank Negara has revised its growth target to 4.5-6% from 5-6%.
On the part of the state government, it has initiated a plan to address the issue via Perak Amanjaya’s development plan called Perak Industrial Development Action Plan (PIDAP). This target plan is to increase the contribution from manufacturing from 18% (currently) to 25% or RM12.73 billion by the year 2020.
The state’s plans include attracting and promoting new high impact and capital intensive investments. It has identified 12 sectors initially such as iron and steel and the transport and equipment sector amongst others.
The plan also seeks to develop more industrial estates as the current sites are nearing maximum capacity. Some of the sites identified include Greater Kamunting and the completion of the Perak Hi-Tech Industrial Park which has been delayed for many years. The SEDC has been tasked to develop these new industrial estates which will attract hi-tech industries.
With the impending introduction of LNG to the Kinta Valley, the state government is also identifying the new industrial areas to be covered by the pipeline. Currently discussions are ongoing between the state government, Gas Malaysia, FMM and MITI.
The Kinta Natural Gas Distribution System will be implemented in two phases. The first phase is from Ayer Tawar to Lahat while the second phase is from Lahat to Chemor.
In his speech, FMM Perak Chairman, Dato’ Gan Tak Kong, thanked the state government for its close rapport with the Federation. Stating that it was a strength enabling issues and problems to be raised and resolved in the true spirit of Malaysia Incorporated to the benefit of all parties involved.
Gan also highlighted the low activity at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport which currently serves two flights daily between Ipoh and Singapore. He added that efforts must be accelerated to turn the airport into a regional hub to Bangkok and Hong Kong to encourage more investments and boost the State’s tourism industry.
Another concern addressed by Gan was that the Vendor Development Programme had not benefitted local SMEs when potential investors introduce mega projects into the state. He suggested that a special task force be set up to look at these opportunities for the benefit of local SMEs.