Sweden eyes more value-added ventures in Malaysia

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Swedish investors are eyeing for more value-added ventures in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector, with the country’s investment expected to hit RM200 million by year-end.

International Trade and Industry Second Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said Sweden continues to be a main source of foreign direct investment for Malaysia.

Over the last 30 years, Sweden has invested up to RM2.6 billion in Malaysia. Last year, Sweden was Malaysia’s 37th-largest trading partner globally with a total trade of US$823.68 million (RM3.49 billion).

Swedish investments are heavily directed towards the manufacturing sector, especially in the machinery and equipment segment, transport equipment, as well as electrical and electronics.

“As at June 2017, a total of 126 Swedish manufacturing projects worth RM2.69 billion were approved.

“This has created over 8,200 employment opportunties for the country,” Ong told reporters after officiating Atlas Copco Group’s first South-East Asia Training Academy Centre in Shah Alam yesterday.

He said the government will continue to take proactive measures in eliminating trade barriers to encourage the setup of more regional bases in Malaysia.

“Malaysia is a trading nation. We want investors to set up their base in Malaysia and make the country as a hub for their operations in the Asia-Pacific and Asean region.

“The government will continue to support and make sure that businesses do well here. We will work towards eliminating trade barriers with all countries to achieve that target,” he said.

Industrial equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco became the latest Swedish company to establish a regional base in Malaysia.

In August, the world’s largest furniture retailer IKEA announced a RM908 million plan to establish its regional distribution and supply chain centre in Pulau Indah, Klang. The opening of Atlas Copco’s regional training centre is aimed to develop and enhance the competency level of the company’s technicians in South-East Asia.

“The training centre will provide around 50 training courses per year, making it a total of 700 training days. With this centre, we will be able to give first-class service and support — thereby building stronger relationship with our customers in the industries here, as well as across South-East Asia,” Atlas Copco Malaysia and Singapore GM Dereck Devlin said.

He also said that the company will collaborate with local universities and polytechnics such as Universiti Malaya, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Politeknik Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah for the development of local talent.

“With this new training centre, we will be able to offer engineering internships with practical hands-on experience in a safe environment,” Devlin said.

Also present at the launch was Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia HE Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt and Atlas Copco competence development and communications VP Peter Leemans.

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