Selangor aspires to become global business hub

The state is also striving to be a high-tech manufacturing centre to ensure long-term sustainable growth, MB says

by S BIRRUNTHA / Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

SELANGOR is hopeful of becoming a global business hub, as it is regarded as the destination of choice for domestic and overseas investors in the manufacturing and services sectors.

Mentri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said supporting its position as the gateway to Asean is the state’s strategic location, served by two major international airports.

He added that Selangor also owns the second busiest container port in the region and multiple advanced domestic rails, road and air links to economic hubs within the country.

“Selangor’s well-established value chains within numerous industries, structured offline and online connectivity, and excellent support by the state government makes it ideal for foreign investors to make it their global business hub.

“Indeed, the state offers foreign investors innumerable advantages for their plans to penetrate Asean and international markets,” he said in his speech during the opening ceremony of the Selangor International Business Summit 2021 (SIBS 2021) yesterday.

SIBS 2021, a key annual initiative by Selangor, is a major networking avenue to introduce Asean and international businesses to find out the opportunities available in the state.

According to Amirudin, the chance to connect business to new opportunities has become undoubtedly important amid a highly challenging economic environment today.

Therefore, through its various conferences and exhibitions, Amirudin said SIBS 2021 will present growth opportunities that are available in the state, especially in Selangor’s five core clusters.

“These clusters include a range of industries, ranging from aerospace to pharmaceuticals, which have the highest potential to drive economic growth for the immediate period as well as the future.

“Additionally, the food and beverage cluster are one of the fastest-growing industries, especially the halal market, which has the potential to spur the state and country’s economy tremendously,” he noted.

Apart from aiming to become a global business hub, Amirudin said Selangor is also striving to become a high-tech manufacturing centre to ensure long-term sustainable growth.

He added that Selangor is actively seeking to attract investors with IR4.0 capabilities such as automation, industrial Internet of Things and advanced robotics.

He highlighted that one of the most important components of SIBS 2021 will be the annual Selangor Research, Development and Innovation Expo, a networking expo for researchers to demonstrate their ideas, network, and develop collaborations with venture capitalists, financiers, manufacturers and marketers from around the region.

Meanwhile, Amirudin said Selangor is also expediting its plan in building a digital economy and ecosystem as the pandemic has accelerated digitalisation worldwide.

“The Smart Selangor Vision 2025, although developed before the pandemic hit the country, is designed to empower its people, businesses and the public sector. “This is by optimising digital technologies toward delivering our smart state objectives across four key domains, namely smart government, smart economy, smart community and smart digital infrastructure,” he noted.

Amirudin acknowledged that this empowerment has become even more important now in a new social and economic landscape post-pandemic.

He emphasised that the plan will ensure Selangor remains at the forefront of the digitalisation wave while providing the foundation for attracting investors into high-technology and value-added sectors.

Despite the pandemic, Selangor received a total of RM38.7 billion in domestic and foreign direct investment in 2020, with the manufacturing sector contributing RM18.4 billion while the rest came from the services and primary sectors.

Amirudin said the state government is also preparing to rebuild the economy with a range of shortand long-term recovery initiatives to build on effective pandemic relief measures.

“In the state budget for 2022 which I will table in the state assembly on Nov 26, 2021, several new initiatives will be introduced to ensure the continuation of our economic recovery plan for the state,” he noted.

Previously, SIBS 2020 was held virtually due to the nationwide Movement Control Order. This year, it is organised on a hybrid model, with exhibitions and conferences held physically at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and virtually at www.selangorbusinesshub.my.

The physical event is held across 13,339 sq m, with a total of 500 physical booths and more than 800 virtual booths.

This year, SIBS is expected to continue its role as one of the Asean region’s premier business summits, where local and international industry players can convene to explore the great potential of the market.