By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
Malaysia’s electrical and electronics (E&E) sector remains a key growth industry for the nation and it aims to achieve more during the SEMICON South-East Asia 2018, a premium platform to connect industry players from across the globe.
A product of a partnership between the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), after four years, the SEMICON will be held in Kuala Lumpur once again.
Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) CEO Dr Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros said the group didn’t want the dates of the event, which was supposed to begin on May 8 and run till May 10, to clash with the country’s 14th General Election (GE14) which falls on May 9, so they have decided to postpone it to a later date.
“We have moved the conference to May 22 and it will run till May 24. The venue will still be at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre,” he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
According to Mohd Shahreen, they anticipate about 9,000 participants from around the globe to show their presence at the event.
“So far, the numbers are very encouraging, we have about 420 booths and have doubled the size of the venue.”
“The participation shows global acceptance of Malaysia as an important player in the E&E industry. The industry in South-East Asia is very active and is constantly growing. Therefore, in order to remain competitive, we need to ensure that we are churning out innovative industry players,” he said.
Local companies have booked 70% of the booths, while the remaining 30% have been booked by players from outside of the country.
Out of the 70%, some 30% consist of small-and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as small- and medium- sized industries (SMIs).
“This conference is very timely as almost every industry uses the E&E application. We are targeting RM50 million in sales and investments even though the conference is a trading platform,” Mohd Shahreen said.
SEMI South-East Asia president Ng Kai Fai said the conference is vital as it will bring the country’s three clusters of players together, thus, forging the gap as well as fostering integration.
“The north, south and central west clusters will be able to come together and showcase their work to each other.
“We are very grateful for Matrade’s support and efforts to transform Malaysia into a leading high-technology industrial hub,” Ng said.
Mohd Shahreen said the industry remains cautiously optimistic as they have seen better progress in 2017 compared to the year prior.
“This year, we have, thus far, managed to keep the momentum going. We saw a double-digit growth; about 20% last year. This year, however, we might see some challenges as it is a bigger base,” he said.
According to Mohd Shahreen, the next SEMICON conference — SEMICON West, which is scheduled to run from July 10 to July 12, 2018, will take place in Los Angeles, California.
“We target RM300 million for SEMICON West and already know which companies we will take with us. There will also be a sales pitch a day before the conference with the aim of capturing a bigger market,” he said.