Selangor business summit plays the Asean card

Some 20,000 visitors and participants are expected at Selangor International Business Summit 2017 which starts on Sept 7


A 10DAY multiple platform Selangor business summit taking place next month, expected to attract some 20,000 exhibitors, will take on a wider regional appeal.

The booths have been taken up by the local and international business fraternity, says Hasan Azhari

“If the footprint is just Selangor or Malaysia, it may be small for some investors. So, we ride on the Asean advantage. With a total population of more than 600 million, this will provide a greater appeal to investors,” Invest Selangor Bhd CEO Datuk Hasan Azhari Idris told The Malaysian Reserve.

The Selangor International Business Summit 2017, organised by Invest Selangor from Sept 7-17, includes a Selangor-Asean Business Conference with speakers from the region and Europe who will share their knowledge and experiences on doing business in Asean.

Among the speakers at the two-day conference on Sept 11-12 include Singapore’s former High Commissioner to Malaysia Ong Keng Yong and Malaysia’s former International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz.

Another key event, the Selangor International Expo 2017 (SIE2017) will be taking place between Sept 14-17 and has seen most of its 500 booths snapped up.

“We have received tremendous response. The booths have been taken up by the local and international business fraternity involved in the food and beverage (F&B), life sciences and halal sectors,” he said.

All three events — SIE2017, Selangor-Asean Business Conference and the Selangor Smart City and Future Commerce Convention — will take place at the Setia City Convention Centre (SCCC) in Shah Alam, Selangor.

The summit is aimed at positioning Selangor as the business and trading hub for the Asean region.

The state of Selangor is being projected as the ideal location for companies looking to penetrate the South-East Asia regional market, given its well-developed infrastructure, strategic location and huge talent pool.

The Selangor Smart City and Future Commerce Convention has attracted over 60 international speakers representing e-retail, financial technology, Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, including executives from major global firms like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, International Business Machines Corp, Microsoft Corp and Tesla Inc.

In 2015, the event which was focused on F&B, halal and life sciences sectors, attracted 4,000 trade visitors. It then had 373 companies setting up 525 booths. In 2016, the numbers jumped to 10,600 with RM100 million transactions recorded during the event.

This year, with three events, Invest Selangor estimates that the total visitors and participants will touch 20,000 from more than 15 countries.

“Most participants and visitors to the previous trade shows felt that the trade fair should be held a bit longer and some of the events such as conferences to be held independently so that more attention could be given to them. Hence, the 10-day summit,” said Hasan Azhari.


Five Clusters

At its end, Invest Selangor has defined five key clusters for the state. They are electrical and electronics (E&E), life science, F&B manufacturing, transport equipment and machinery equipment.

The core industrial clusters were the subject of the recently released Selangor Industrial Master Plan Study, which was commissioned by Invest Selangor and conducted by Monash University Malaysia.

Clusters, as defined in the study, are group of inter-related and inter-connected indust-ries that drive wealth creation in a region, primarily through export of goods and services.

Unlike the classic definition of industry sectors, an industry cluster is different. This is because industry clusters represents the entire value chain of a broadly defined industry,
from suppliers to end products, including supporting services and specialised infrastructure, the study added.

Stakeholders in these clusters contribute to cluster development by attracting new businesses, talent and investment.

On the E&E cluster, for example, one of the study’s key takeaways was that opportunities exist for the state to reinvent the region’s E&E industry through the development of specialised, niche targeted infrastructure spending in design and development (IoT and embedded technology), export initiatives and original equipment manufacturing in high end value-adding solutions, and end products.

“A business model that emphasises the state’s position as a regional and global sales and distribution centre could be further reinforced, especially for small and mid-tier companies with potential capacity expansion,” it added.

Sharing some statistics, Hasan Azhari said the number of approved manufacturing projects in Selangor from 2010 to 2016 has been consistently the highest among the states in Malaysia, providing increasing employment opportunities while contributing to the nation’s economic progress.

In 2016, Selangor attracted 242 approved manufacturing projects, of which 57% were from the five core clusters, led by the machinery and equipment cluster with a 16% share of projects. This was followed by F&B manufacturing (12%), transport equipment (12%), life sciences (10%) and E&E (7%).

“Despite the global economic slowdown due to a decrease demand of oil, Selangor continues to accelerate in economic and financial growth with minimal impact from the drop in oil prices — due to its sturdy policies and long-term planning strategies,” he said.

Invest Selangor acts as a one-stop agency for information, advisory services, and startup or expansion assistance to potential and existing investors.