GEORGE TOWN (May 28, 2008): By Opalyn Mok
With a second foreign investor announcing a significant investment in Penang within a week today, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng says the state is hopeful of matching last year's RM3.1 billion in foreign investments.
"We are already more than halfway there and we hope to see more biotech companies coming in," he said in a press conference announcing Honeywell International's investment of US$36 million or about RM115.2 million in Penang.
He added that the state is also currently in discussions with many other foreign companies who may invest in Penang.
Last Wednesday, Japan's Ibiden Co Ltd announced plans to invest RM1.2 billion in a new facility to manufacture high performance and and high density printed wiring boards to cater for increased market demand for mobile phones.
Honeywell, through its Honeywell Aerospace, will build an avionics manufacturing facility in Penang to support the needs for equipment in communications and navigation for commercial and general aviation aircraft.
Honeywell Aerospace vice-president (Integrated Supply Chain) Neal Speranzo said: "Malaysia is an excellent choice for the company to invest in not only in the region but also in the global market.
"Construction have already started and we have also begun hiring. By 2009, we hope to hire up to 600 employees and the manufacturing facility will be fully operational by 2010."
Lim said it is very important that foreign investors like Honeywell have confidence to invest in the state.
"The fact that this leading aerospace company has chosen to invest in Penang indicates that we are attracting more high tech companies to the state," he said.
He added that the state is looking for big investments by companies that offer high-paying jobs rather than just many jobs.
"It is more important to look at the investment sum," he added.