Speech at New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel (e/c)

Speech by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at The Opening of Penang Investment Seminar at New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel on 21st January 2015

Good Afternoon. I am honoured to be back in Hong Kong, a renowned world city synonymous with its robust financial and economic competitiveness.

As the Chief Minister of Penang, I have gone all over the world to promote Penang as a destination of choice to live, work, learn and play. Globalization and technology means you can go almost anywhere, but I am here today because I want everyone here to know that there are a whole lot of reasons why Penang is among the best investment destination.

Strong Bilateral Trade Relation and Sound Economic Growth

Penang trade relation with Hong Kong has come a long way. At the end of 2012, Malaysia was the 14th major destination of outward direct investment (ODI) from Hong Kong, with an ODI stock of HK$ 45 billion. In 2013, Malaysia was Hong Kong 10th largest trading partner, 10th largest market for domestic exports, 17th largest market for re-exports, and 7th largest source of imports (Trade and Industry Department of The Government of the Hong Kong SAR).

Trade volume between Malaysia and Hong Kong is expected to grow to US$17 billion for 2014. Malaysia-Hong Kong trade had been encouraging, registering 15 per cent growth in the last 10 months with Malaysia having a trade surplus against Hong Kong.

Penang has grown leaps and bounds over the years to becoming a thriving industrialized state. For a small island which makes up less than 0.4% of total land mass in Malaysia, this second smallest state of Malaysia contributes 7% to Malaysia’s GDP. With over 40 years of industrial experience evidenced by the presence of more than 300 multinationals companies, today, Penang is the one of the most dynamic, progressive and competitive state in Malaysia.

Convergence of Manufacturing and Services Sector is the Key to Future Economic Success

Penang’s manufacturing and services sectors account 48 & 47 percent of Penang’s GDP of RM 63 billion respectively in 2013. Penang contributes 25% of Malaysia’s imports and exports. In 2013, Penang’s services sector achieved a growth rate of 5.8 percent as compared to a growth rate in the manufacturing sector of 3.5%, indicating that Penang’s economy is moving towards an equal balance between manufacturing and services sectors. The key to Penang’s future economic success is not through over-reliance on one sector but to seek convergence between manufacturing and services sectors as well as the government sector.

Services sector covers not only tourism, medical treatment and education but also include shared services & outsourcing (SSO) and creative multimedia content. At the moment, we are getting more and more SSO companies such as Citigroup, IHS, Atmel, First Solar, Osram and Jurong Shipyard expanding their operations in Penang. SSO sector employs over 7,000 high-income professionals in Penang.

Penang’s Key Development Projects to Spur the Investment Arena

Penang is looking for a project delivery partner to roll out its massive RM27 billion Public Transport Master Plan that will integrate both land and sea networks, including an MRT system, to link both the island and mainland halves of the state. The state had called an open tender from August 15 to February 16, 2015 for the project, which we hope to start this year and complete it by 2030.
While the case for doing business in Penang has always been strong, we’ve made it even stronger. To further enhance the business environment in Penang, we have in place plans for a RM3.3 billion IT-BPO Hub to cater to the ever growing demand for Grade –A office spaces in Penang. This will be the platform for new clusters of economic development with opportunities to live, work, learn and play in sustainable and innovative urban spaces.

Together with Penang International Technology Park, the gross development value for the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) and Singapore’s Temasek joint-venture project is estimated to be approximately RM 11.3 billion. Another major project is IKEA’s RM 8 billion commercial and mixed development project. This is a testimony of our strong commitment in ensuring that Penang remains as a desirable investment destination.

Penang towards Generating Higher Pool of Knowledge Workers

Developing the state’s talented young people to move up the value chain is a priority of the State Government. In Penang, there are over 40 public and private universities and colleges, in addition to the eight reputable international schools. We have set up learning and training centers, such as Penang Skills Development Centre – a world-class, non-profit training and educational centre built on a tripartite partnership model between the Government, Industry, and Academia that nurture talents which caters specifically for the industrial and services sectors.

Penang is also successful in attracting talents from overseas. The Penang Career Assistance and Talent (CAT) Centre is assisting an international internship professional training programme, in collaboration with universities in Japan, New Zealand, Germany and Switzerland.

We are helping to build the capacity of the state as it moves toward a knowledge economy by maximizing local content, adding value through integrated industrial parks, and promoting economic diversification and entrepreneurship.

Incorporating Desirable Work-Life Balance to Residents

So as you have heard repeatedly today and you will hear undoubtedly after I leave this stage, Penang is open for business. Amongst the new big names are Haemonatics, Bose, Sandisk, Citigroup, HP and Seagate setting up their operations in Penang, choosing Penang as a destination of choice. One of the factors behind the emergence of such MNCs is the uniqueness of Penang as a great place to live, work, play, learn and eat!

Penang has the best of both worlds, a competitive ground for business and an island famed for its tourist attractions. The Guardian UK has named Penang as the Top 10 “World’s Must Visit Destinations in 2014”.

ASEAN Economic Community and Hong-Kong Malaysia Free Trade Agreement

The commencement of ASEAN Economic Community by the end of 2015 will lead to a single market with GDP of more than USD 2 trillion and market size of 620 million population in ASEAN. This will bring a greater opportunity as ASEAN is an important trading and investment partner of Hong Kong.

In terms of trade in goods, taken as a group, ASEAN was Hong Kong’s second largest trading partner in 2013, with total bilateral trade amounted to HK$750 billion, about 10% of Hong Kong’s total trade, and an increase of 3% as compared to 2012. The average annual growth rate of bilateral trade between Hong Kong and ASEAN from 2009 to 2013 was 10%, a remarkable increase having regard to the economic slowdown globally in recently years.

Hence with the anticipation of AEC, we also look forward to a positive outcome of the ongoing negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement between Hong Kong and the ASEAN. The key elements covered by the FTA negotiation include the elimination or reduction of tariffs; rules of origin; liberalisation of trade in services; liberalisation, promotion and protection of investment; and intellectual property co-operation.

We believe that an FTA with ASEAN will facilitate and enhance trade and investment flows between Hong Kong and ASEAN, bring about better market access opportunities and create more favourable business environment for Hong Kong’s businessmen. It will also strengthen Hong Kong’s role as an international trade, commerce and financial centre. The commencement of Hong Kong-ASEAN FTA negotiation will also mark a significant milestone of Hong Kong’s participation in regional economic integration.

We hope to be your partner in helping to write the next chapter in Penang’s history. We want you to join the generations of immigrants and entrepreneurs and foreign investors who have discovered exactly what it means when we say we are the land of opportunity. That is not a myth; it’s a proven fact.

Penang is a place where you can do business, create great products, deliver great services, make money, and at the same time enjoy a desirable lifestyle. When you do, you’ll find some of the world’s best talents and some of the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs. You’ll find a government, and a leadership team who is committed to helping you create an international and intelligent city, where you and your children can prosper with dignity.

Thank you very much.

LIM GUAN ENG

—Mandarin Version ———–

槟城首席部长林冠英于2015年1月21日在千禧新世界香港酒店举行的槟城投资讲座所发表的讲词

午安,很高兴能来到香港,一座以金融及经济竞争而知名世界之都。
作为槟城首席部长,我出访各国推广槟城,让人知道槟城是一个生活、工作、娱乐的首选目的地。全球化与科技让人们随处可及,但今天我到这里的目的却是要在座的各位了解为何槟城是投资的好地方。

坚强的双边关系及经济成长

槟城与香港的贸易关系已经历史悠久。2012年末,大马在香港第对外投资的国家中排名第十四,投资金额达450亿港币。2013年,马来西亚是香港第十个贸易伙伴、是香港第十名的出口市场、第十七名的转出口市场及第七名的进口来源地。(资料来源,香港工业贸易署)

2014年大马与香港的双边贸易预料将达到170亿美金。大马对香港的双边贸易取得鼓舞的增长,过去10个月已经取得15%的增长,并取得对香港的贸易顺差。

槟城过去这些年来已经成长为一个工业州。一个只占马来西亚0.4%土地面积,整个大马第二小的州属,却占了全国7%的国民生产总值。槟城过去40年来在工业领域的经验,300多家跨国公司,让槟城今天成为马来西亚最具活力、进步及竞争力的一州。

制造业与服务领域的汇合是未来经济的成功钥匙

槟城制造业与服务领域2013年分别占了槟城48%及47%共630亿令吉的槟城人均生产总值。槟城2013年也贡献了大马25%的出入口份额。同样的在2013年槟城的服务业增长了5.8%,而制造业则有3.5%,显示槟城的经济在制造业与服务业之间趋向平衡发展。槟城的未来不能只靠单一领域,必须是制造业、服务业及政府多方面的汇合(Convergence)。

服务业不只包括了旅游、保健治疗及教育,但也包括了共享服务外包(SSO)及创意多媒体内容。如今,我们已经获得了越来越多的共享服务外包的投资,如花旗银行集团、美国资讯处理服务公司IHS、爱特美尔(Atmel)、第一太阳能、奥斯朗、裕隆船厂皆在槟城扩充他们的外包服务。共享服务外包提供了槟城7000个高收入的专业职位。

刺激投资领域的槟城主要发展项目

槟城正在寻求计划执行伙伴,以执行270亿令吉的交通大蓝图计划,该计划将整合陆地与海底交通网,包括捷运系统,已联系槟城州内槟岛与威省两岸。针对这项计划,槟城已经于去年8月15日至2015年2月16日展开公开招标,并希望从今年开始进行,一直到2030年。
虽然在槟城投资经营很好,但是我们要做得更好。为了要优化槟城的经商环境,我们已经展开33亿令吉资讯科技业务外包中心的计划,提供A级的办公空间。这项计划将创立新的经济发展圈子,提供生活、学习与娱乐的永续及创意都市空间。

再加上槟城国际工业园区,两项槟城发展机构与新加坡淡马锡合资的计划发展总值共113亿令吉。另一项发展计划则是IKEA宜家的80亿令吉商业与综合发展计划。

槟城迈向培养高素质的知识型员工

培养州内的年轻人才往高价值提升是政府的首要目标。在槟城,我们拥有40家公立及私立的大学与学院,另有8间著名的国际学校。我们也设立了学习集训连中心,如槟城技能发展中心(PSDC)就是一家政府、工业领域与教育机构合作的世界级非营利训练与教育中心,培育工业与服务业人才。

槟城也同时吸引外国人才,槟城的职业协助与人才中心(CAT)就是一个协助外国人才来此接受训练课程的机构。该机构有跟日本、纽西兰、德国及瑞士的大学合作。

我们正协助槟城透过强化本土内涵、力促整合工业园增值、推广经济多元化及企业家精神,让槟城迈向知识经济

槟城是一个居民渴望工作与生活能取得平衡的地方

今天大家可能一直重复听到在槟城经商的美誉,但我告诉各位我致词完毕之后,您无疑的还是会继续到处听到槟城经商如何开放。例如Haemonatics, 音响公司博世(Bose), 闪迪Sandisk, 花旗集团Citigroup, HP and 希捷Seagate在槟城设厂,而其中一项吸引这些跨国厂商的因素是槟城是一座独特的生活、工作、娱乐、学习与享用美食的好地方!

槟城同时拥有具竞争力的经商环境及槟岛则是著名吸引游客的旅游胜地。英国卫报就把槟城列为2014年全世界十大必游的目的地之一。

东盟经济社区与港马自由经济协定

2015年底实施的东盟经济社区,将建立一个2兆美元国内生产总值,拥有6亿2000万人口的单一经济体。这将为香港带来绝佳的机会,因为香港原本就是东盟重要的贸易及投资伙伴。

在货物贸易,东盟是香港2013年第二大的双边贸易伙伴,共达到7500亿港币,占据了香港10%的贸易额,比2012年提升了3%。香港与东盟于2009年至2013年的双边贸易平均每年增长10%,在近年全球经济趋缓的时候,取得非常好的增长。

因此,我们正面看待仍在谈判中的香港与东盟自由贸易协定。自由贸易协定谈判的关键因素在于各项费用的减免;原有的法规;贸易服务的自由;投资的自由度、推广与保护;智慧财产权的合作。

我们相信与东盟的自由贸易协定将提升及优化香港与东盟之间的贸易与投资,带来更好的市场机会,创造更多有利香港商人的经商环境。自由贸易协定也将巩固香港的国际贸易、商业与金融中心的地位。香港与东盟的自由贸易协定也将是香港加入东盟区域经济整合的新里程碑。

我们希望成为香港的伙伴,为槟城写下历史新篇章。我们要您参与这一波由移民、企业家及外国投资者共同发现的机会只地,槟城。这不是神话,这是已经证明的事实。

槟城是一个您能经商、创造好产品、提供好服务、营利的同时,还能享受生活的地方。当您加入这里,您将会找到世界上一些最好的人才及富创意的创业者。您也将会看到一个准备协助您,要创造一个智慧型国际城市的政府团队,让您及您的儿女能有尊严的生活与发展。

林冠英

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