By Ashwin Kumar
AFTER an invigorating year renewing and repositioning Selangor’s image both locally and on the world stage, the state administration aims to continue to be competitive and further strengthen its efforts to achieve its smart state vision for 2025.
State Investment Industry and Trade, Small and Medium Industries Committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim said the Selangor government is working hard to ensure that the Golden State is recognised and highlighted for the right reasons.
“2019 was an exciting year for Selangor, despite the fact that its highest recorded direct investment was in 2018 at RM18.95 billion.
“We managed to record high investment figures last year too. Until Sept 2019, we made a total sum of RM16.8 billion and are still waiting for the figures for the last quarter of 2019,” Teng said in a recent interview with Selangor Journal.
He explained that even if Selangor cannot break the 2018 financial figure, 2019’s recorded investment would still exceed those in previous years.
Outside talent a boost
Preparations for the Selangor International Business Summit (SIBS) 2020 are well on their way, with several enhancements taking place to create a solid international business platform, giving focus to the Asean region.
For this year’s edition of the research and development summit, Teng said the state government is looking for participants beyond local universities, government agencies, and research centres.
“The world is so big and we are at the very beginning of innovation, certainly getting foreign participation is crucial to us,” he said.
The third edition of the international summit would be held from Oct 14 to 17 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, with a projected transaction value of RM280 million.
SIBS is a platform to promote and facilitate international trade, expedite foreign direct investment and provide a medium for businesses to expand into new markets.
Its second edition in 2019, which took place from Oct 10 to 13 last year, achieved a transaction value of RM447.3 million, exceeding its RM250 million target, and attracted over 34,000 visitors.
Top money maker
Selangor targets to achieve investments worth RM12 billion in 2020 compared to the RM10 billion last year.
Teng said the target figure is practical and is based on the global investment climate.
Last year, the state government had targeted RM10 billion in investments and as of September 2019, Selangor has managed to exceed the target by attracting RM16.4 billion.
“Our approach would either be to give full focus to dedicated industries within the state or to regional investors,” he said.
As Selangor continues to lead the nation in contributing to its gross domestic product (GDP), Teng said the state aims to contribute 30 per cent by 2030.
In 2018, Selangor had contributed 23.7 per cent to the national GDP with a total investment revenue of over RM18.7 billion involving 241 projects.
Wooing aerospace, electronics firms
The state government has identified 800 hectares (2,000 acres) of land to be developed and used by the aerospace industry, which would, in turn, woo more foreign investors into the state.
“In its efforts to make Selangor the leading investment location for the aerospace industry, we will further strengthen our cooperation with the private sector in 2020 to further develop the industry,” Teng said.
He said the land that has been identified would be announced when all its requirements have been finalised. He said it would complement the already existing aerospace industrial areas in Selangor.
With this move, the state administration aims to create 32,000 high-income jobs that would bring an estimated annual revenue of RM55.2 billion by 2030.
Teng also said a 660-acre (267ha) industrial park dedicated to electronics and electrical business activities is expected to be established in Selangor. Its location, however, was not disclosed.
“We hope to attract more electronic players at the global level which would lead to good investments here,” he said.
Halal action plan
Teng said the state government is working hard and looking for opportunities to expand the halal industry to the Middle East.
“We are planning a programme that we hope will be accepted by Muslim countries. If successful, this programme would have a positive impact on the economy of Selangor as the Middle East market is huge,” he said.
The state government has also outlined a special plan codenamed “International Muslim Friendly Affiliated Network” to ensure that both local and overseas Muslim entrepreneurs obtain halal certification for their products.
“This programme will help the Small Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs), especially the micro-entrepreneurs, in obtaining the halal status for their products.
“We are not targeting entrepreneurs or SMEs in Selangor alone. The programme would also be introduced globally in order to make Selangor the hub of the halal industry,” said Teng.
The programme is expected to be launched locally in March and at the international level in April.