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GEORGE TOWN, Aug 22 (Bernama) — The Penang government is eyeing RM10 billion in total investments by the end of this year, its Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.

The target was almost double last year’s total investments of RM5.78 billion, he said.

“We are cautiously optimistic that RM10 billion investments by end of this year is achievable,” he told reporters after officiating the Fifth Global Business Services conference here today.

He added that Penang had already recorded RM8.8 billion worth of investments in the first quarter of this year.

However, Chow said the state hoped to attract more Global Business Services (GBS) investors with the setting up of new GBS facility known as GBS One Mahsuri in Bayan Baru here.

He said the state is in the midst of developing GBS One Mahsuri in its continuous effort to house new and expanding knowledge-driven companies in Penang.

“Penang Development Corporation has started works on GBS One Mahsuri, which upon completion by the first half of 2020, will provide 80,000 square feet of grade A office space to meet the current needs of the GBS industry,” he said.

GBS One Mahsuri is part of the state’s master development plan to offer conducive enterprise working space and environment for investors and supporting talents worldwide, he added.

Chow said currently there are 60 companies with GBS operations in Penang and about one-third of them are captive players with manufacturing footprints in the state such as B. Braun, Cypress, Intel, Jabil, Motorola, Osram and Seagate, among others.

“In addition, there is also an increasing trend whereby multinational companies with no physical manufacturing presence in Penang have opted to establish their shared services operation here. These include Celestica, First Solar, Swarovski and UST Global.”

Chow said the GBS industry in Penang has created more then 12,000 high-income jobs and the state is ranked number two in terms of GBS or shared services and outsourcing investments, only after the Klang Valley.

“The manufacturing industry may be Penang’s core economic driver, but the service industry is equally important. This is particularly so as the GBS operations in the state complement and synergise with the manufacturing industry,” he said.