Ready in­fra­struc­ture, busi­ness-friendly poli­cies, ro­bust tal­ent pool among rea­sons that will draw in­vestors

New Straits Times - - Business - AMIR HISYAM RASID bt@me­di­

MALAYSIA is an at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion for multi­na­tional com­pa­nies (MNCs) be­cause of its cost of run­ning busi­nesses, lo­cal tal­ent and di­ver­sity, said Gen­eral Elec­tric (GE) gen­eral man­ager of Asia Pa­cific Global Op­er­a­tions, Yuichiro Ya­m­aguchi.

GE opened its first ded­i­cated tool­ing cen­tre in Port Klang, Se­lan­gor, last Fri­day to serve more than 300 cross-fleet power gen­er­a­tion as­sets in more than 10 coun­tries across Asia Pa­cific, of­fer­ing cus­tomers im­proved and faster ser­vices.

“Malaysia is lo­cated at the heart of the re­gion, thus mak­ing it an ideal gate­way to Asean’s pop­u­la­tion base.

“The in­fra­struc­ture that is read­ily avail­able, such as high­speed broad­band net­works, in­ter­na­tional air and sea ports as well as the road net­works among growth cen­tres, add to the ap­peal.

“Malaysia also has busi­ness­friendly poli­cies that en­cour­age in­vest­ments into the coun­try, such as ro­bust lo­cal tal­ent and di­ver­sity as well as low cost of run­ning busi­ness,” said Ya­m­aguchi in an in­ter­view with NST Busi­ness.

Ya­m­aguchi said the new fa­cil­ity fea­tured more than 500 dif­fer­ent tool­kits that would be used to dis­man­tle, as­sem­ble, test, di­ag­nose and in­crease the pro­duc­tiv­ity of more than 300 in­stalled gas and steam tur­bines and gen­er­a­tors across the re­gion.

“It also fur­ther ex­pands GE’s net­work of power tool­ing lo­ca­tions, which in­clude fa­cil­i­ties in the United States, Europe, Mid­dle East, In­dia and China,” he said.

The cen­tre would be staffed by lo­cal en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cian, he added.

Universiti Utara Malaysia di­rec­tor of Asian Re­search In­sti­tute of Bank­ing and Fi­nance Dr Ir­wan Shah Zainal Abidin said GE’s in­vest­ment would boost Malaysia’s dig­i­tal econ­omy agenda with the in­tro­duc­tion of the first Dig­i­tal Free Zone in the world, which was ex­pected to ma­te­ri­alise this year as stip­u­lated in the 2017 Bud­get.

“A bet­ter mar­ket area and ur­ban sys­tems in the dig­i­tal econ­omy would be es­tab­lished as a re­sult of the set­ting up of GE’s tool­ing cen­tre in Malaysia,” he said.

“It will also ben­e­fit Malaysia in up­lift­ing growth in a sus­tain­able way and cre­at­ing jobs for both skilled and un­skilled work­ers on a long-term ba­sis.

“Since it is the first GE cen­tralised tool­ing cen­tre in Asia Pa­cific, it will be­come an en­abler in mak­ing busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties more ef­fi­cient in the re­gion via greater in­te­gra­tion.

“Some form of pos­i­tive ex­ter­nal­i­ties are ex­pected to oc­cur in Malaysia. Th­ese are, among oth­ers, the ef­fects of eco­nom­ics of scale, economies of scope, eco­nomic ag­glom­er­a­tion and net­work ef­fects,” he said.

Ir­wan said GE chose Malaysia over other coun­tries in the Asia Pa­cific due to the re­silience of its econ­omy with clear plan­ning and its di­rec­tion in the short, medium and long terms.

LBB In­ter­na­tional chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Dr Marco Tie­man said GE now could have ac­cess to two world-class ports af­ter lo­cat­ing its tool­ing cen­tre at the Port Klang Free Zone.

“West­port and North Port to­gether are big­ger than Tan­jung Pelepas Port. Other than lower to­tal sup­ply chain costs, they have cheaper and bet­ter avail­able labour than Jo­hor,” he said.

Mean­while, ex­perts said Malaysia would stand to ben­e­fit from GE’s for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in bol­ster­ing the coun­try’s dig­i­tal econ­omy.

Gen­eral Elec­tric has opened its first ded­i­cated tool­ing cen­tre in Port Klang, Se­lan­gor, to serve more than 300 cross-fleet power gen­er­a­tion as­sets in more than 10 coun­tries across Asia Pa­cific.

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