Mida eyes RM13b in E&E investments

The industry has a strong ecosystem and will remain one of the major contributors to the country’s total export, says CEO

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

THE total approved investments for the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry are expected to be worth RM13 billion this year, a 16.07% increment from the amount that was recorded in the previous year.

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) CEO Datuk Azman Mahmud said the industry, currently well-supported by solid infrastructure, has a strong ecosystem and will remain one of the major contributors to the country’s total export.

“We should at least be able to achieve a number like last year’s RM11.2 billion, but we think we can go up to RM13 billion.

“However, that is subject to the global scenario. Hopefully we won’t have any major setback in the global market,” he said at the SEMICON South-East Asia 2019’s media briefing yesterday.

He said further efforts are being made to attract investors, including promotional activities and direct engagements with major companies, which fortify the existing infrastructure that also represents a strong supply chain in the country.

“To produce and design, as well as have research and development…it is all possible here, with continuous efforts by the government and Mida,” he said.

Azman said Mida is also currently promoting the local supply chain’s growth in order to back the progress of the semiconductor automotive sector.

“To promote this, Mida adopted the ecosystem approach where we fill the gaps in the semiconductor automotive by aggressively promoting knowledge-intensive design activities under the E&E industry.

“These activities include integrated circuits (IC) design, IC packaging design, embedded system design, and test and engineering design servicers for the E&E clusters,” he said.

Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) SouthEast Asia president Ng Kai Fai, who was also at the briefing, said cooperation is being forged by industry play

ers with the Education Ministry and Mida to encourage the youth to pursue the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field, which is pertinent for the development of new talents that could be part of the business.

“As you can see, enrolments in the STEM field have declined globally. One of our programmes basically devises a curriculum that will excite secondary students to know about STEM, and these ages are the most conducive to mold their minds.

“So hopefully, when they get the choice to choose a stream, they are more inclined towards the science stream,” he said.

He added that SEMI is also pushing for diversity and inclusivity initiatives such as the “Women in Engineering” panel discussion.

“Currently, STEM is very much male-dominated, but I think that if we do not take advantage of the female capability, we are missing a big chunk of the equation,” he said.

Last year, SEMICON South-East Asia 2018 attracted a total of 7,700 visitors and 2,619 exhibitors.

Ng said this year, the event is targeting an over 22% increase in the number of exhibitors.

“Basing on our registration database, we are expecting over 9,000 delegates this year,” he said.

The SEMICON South-East Asia 2019 will be held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur from May 7 to May 9.