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GEORGE TOWN: The US Ambassador to Malaysia is optimistic that the business climate in Penang will continue to attract more multinational corporations to the state, with some existing ones planning on expansion.

Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir (pic) said Penang plays an important role in the smart technology era which has become a driving force for companies to expand.

“The growing aspect of electronics has a huge impact on the companies. Penang, where about 25% of some 300 members of the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) are based, has a role to play in this area,” she told a press conference after Amcham’s annual Penang dialogue at G Hotel here yesterday.

More than 150 representatives from various companies were present at the event.

Lakhdhir said the dialogue was to hear out issues faced by US companies in Penang.

She said there was discussion about the need to improve infrastructure in Penang, which is second after Kuala Lumpur with the highest number of US companies in Malaysia.

She added that many US companies have been in Penang for some time and that their senior management staff are all Malaysian citizens.

Lakhdhir cited a number of factors in Malaysia which made the country attractive to US investors, particularly its workforce and talents.

“These are factors they would look at, such as what talents they can attract, whether they can find trained or trainable workforce.

“And the English language, as well as other languages, in many cases are an important factor,” she added.

Source: The Star Online