Keynote Speech by the Rt. Hon. Mr. Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister on 9 October 2013 – Gartner Asia Pacific (APAC) Local Briefing, E&O Hotel, Penang.
This Gartner Asia Pacific (APAC) Local Briefing is the first ever Gartner event be held in Penang, and is a part of the local briefing series held in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. It offers a platform for industry professionals to come together to share new knowledge and exchange ideas. competitive advantage.
According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending is projected to rise 2% to total $3.7 trillion, where enterprise software spending is expected to grow 6.4 percent in 2013. In Malaysia, the IT spending is projected to rise 6% to RM61.9 billion in 2013.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Building Human Capital
In order to cope with these emerging technologies and IT innovation, the Penang State Government has established the Penang Science Council (PSC) to reinforce the talent pipeline from schools to industries and businesses, and to make Penang into the centre of excellence for science and technology.
Move towards hi-tech and high value automation production and activities
Penang is the backbone of the nation’s E&E manufacturing and exports for the past four decades. Penang’s economy was contributed 48% by manufacturing and 46% by services in 2012. Penang manufacturers have evolved to move-up the value chain to produce higher value-added products.
Penang must also develop our services sector so that we can seek convergence with products, technology and services. This convergence requires companies and governments not only to create new eco-systems but also adapt to changing eco-systems to survive. It is a Penang State Government’s policy to enhance the knowledge content of the economy.
Emphasis will also be made on the promotion of higher value added manufacturing and related services as well as knowledge-based services such as Shared services and Outsourcing (SSO) Centre, Regional Headquarter (RHQ), regional Distribution Centre (RDC) and International Procurement Centre (IPCC) in Penang.
In Penang, the Cybercity has been successful in catalyzing the growth of the IT industry in Penang. Today, many companies in the electronics industries have made Penang their administrative and manufacturing hub. To stimulate future growth, the Penang State Government has set aside 17 acres of land in Bayan Baru and Bayan Lepas to be the Penang BPO Hub. Bayan Baru (Phase 1) & Bayan Lepas (Phase 2) are to offer at least 1.7 million sq. ft. of exterior space within the next three to five years. The Penang BPO hub will be Penang’s biggest BPO project. I am confident that BPO’s success in Penang will also be Penang’s and Malaysia’s success.
In other words, the Penang state government is committed towards being competitive. To attracting investors to Penang, we realize that we can not rely only on our comparative advantages but also creating new competitive advantages. According to the World Competitiveness Report 2013-4, the top 5 problems for doing business in Malaysia are
1. Inefficient government bureaucracy
3. Poor work ethic in the national labour force
4. Insufficient capacity to innovate
5. Inadequately educated workforce
Penang enjoys a well-deserved reputation of being the most efficient and cleanest government in Malaysia through implementation of CAT governance of competency, accountability and transparency. Penang is the only state government in Malaysian history that has been praised by Transparency International for implementing open competitive tenders.
We have an established reputation of a good work ethic in the manufacturing sector built up over 40 years of tradition and experience – making Penang one of the most dynamic electronic and medical devices cluster in the world. We will continue to increase productivity and good work ethic with retraining through centers of excellence such as the Penang Skills Development Corporation(PSDC).
Penang has established the Penang Science Council(PSC) to inspire innovation and build Penang as a center of excellence in science and technology. A Penang Tech Center will be set up to rekindle interest in science and technology. We have the most dynamic science fairs and successful exhibitions which have to be held in the sports stadium.
Finally to improve the quality of our workforce requires us to improve the quality of our educational institutions. Penang has managed to attract world-class universities. The Asian Women Leadership University driven by the No.1 women university in the US, Smith College, and the United Kingdom’s Hull University together with the local KDU University have committed to Penang offering liberal arts courses, engineering, accounting, business studies, logistics and law.
Clearly we have met the 5 challenges outlined in the World Competitiveness Report.
For two years in a row, the ECA International has voted Penang to the most liveable city in Malaysia, and the 8th in Asia due to our excellent healthcare and educational infrastructure. Being voted the most liveable city in Malaysia further enhances Penang’s attractiveness as a BPO centre by offering more to the best and the brightest talents. By having a pool of knowledge workers to support the knowledge intensive activities, the overall economy and wellbeing of Penang will be further enhanced, thus making in Penang an Intelligent City.