E&E and M&E catalysts for Malaysia’s IoT

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Local electrical and electronics (E&E), and machinery and equipment (M&E) sectors have been the backbone of Malaysia’s Internet of Things (IoT) technology adoption, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

MITI Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said globally, Malaysia is the seventh largest exporter of E&E products with RM220.56 billion in exports this year, an increase by 21.4% from RM287.7 billion recorded last year.

He said the sector has shown a positive trend in exports for the past three years.

“With that, it makes E&E sector the only industry that records a trade surplus for several consecutive years,” he told reporters at the IoT Malaysia 2017 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“IoT technology has the economic potential that cuts across all industries,” he said. “I encourage more local companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startup technopreneurs to explore the adoption and implementation of IoT as a means to add value in their products and services, as well as to increase productivity and efficiency towards scaling up their businesses.”

The government through Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) has approved a total of RM5.8 billion through 47 projects under the E&E sector.

In 2016, the government arm approved RM9.24 billion of investments through 107 E&E projects, of which RM1.29 billion derived from domestic investments, while RM7.94 billion was from foreign investments.

Meanwhile, the M&E sector has contributed 4.6% to the country’s total export of manufactured goods between January and August 2017, and a registered compound annual growth rate of 4.3%.

Mustapa said multinational companies (MNCs) have helped spur the local IoT business environment, setting the path for SME companies.

“MNCs such as Intel Malaysia Sdn Bhd have contributed much to our development of economy, particularly in the E&E sector.

“It has been our biggest exporter, which recorded an exports of RM37 billion last year. Also, it has outsourced to more than 100 local SME vendors and suppliers.

“Many SMEs are capable of developing supporting technologies, but they do not have access to the right IoT platform, and this is where the MNCs can fill in the gap,” he said.

Mustapa urged more local companies to transform into an IoT-based business as Malaysia has good engineering sources and a skilled workforce for IoT adoption.