Ramping up efforts on Penang’s Covid-19 mass vaccination programme, focused industries and talent pool, in preparing for long-term sustainability.
Penang, June 18, 2021 – The Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme for the manufacturing sector, also known as PIKAS, has kicked start on 16th June, with the opening of vaccination centre (PPV) at Bukit Jawi Golf Course Hall. Started with 480 doses a day, this PPV will progressively increase its dispensation to 1,000 doses per day.
Under the PIKAS Programme, the State government is also working closely with COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) and Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the upcoming PPV at Equatorial Hotel, which is slated to open on 28th June. In addition, a few multinational companies are pending federal’s approval for the opening of on-site PPV.
Overall, as of 16th June, 262,101 individuals (approx. 15% of Penang’s population) have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Based on the vaccine supply forecast provided by the Federal government, coupled with the ramping up of the opening of PPVs and accelerating inoculation rate, the State is targeting about 24,000 vaccination per day and expecting to reach herd immunity by October 2021.
Multiple efforts in propelling industry long-term growth
While ensuring smooth implementation of the Immunisation Programme remains the utmost priority for the State government, formulating forward-looking strategies in driving industry’s post-pandemic growth is equally critical.
Penang has garnered multiple strategic projects in the past two years. The State consistently ensures the approved projects to be fully implemented and commence operations within the stipulated time frame. These strategic investments are expected to create supply chain localization opportunities for the homegrown companies, which is part of the State government’s efforts to elevate SMEs development. In addition, the strategic investors could potentially attract their existing relevant supply chains to explore Penang as a viable investment location.
Moreover, the State government is further entrenching its position in the upstream activities and global value chain, such as IC design and advanced semiconductor and front-end equipment manufacturing, while strengthening the ecosystem of the promoted industries, namely, Electronics & Electrical products, Machinery & Equipment and Medical Devices. Simultaneously, we are committed to propel the global business services (GBS) activities in Penang that are well-positioned to unlock greater potential.
To ensure Penang remains competitive in the global arena, the State government is implementing multi-pronged approaches to deepen and widen the talent pool in Penang. These include massive drives to attract talent, addressing the supply and demand gap in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) talent and collaborating with institutions of higher learning on talent attraction. The State government also collaborates with the industry players on internship programme, positioning Penang as the preferred workplace among fresh graduates nationwide.
With the emerging trend of industrial automation and digitalization, Penang is expediting the review of land utilization to maximize its productivity. Penang, as the second smallest state in Malaysia, is making inroads to ensure an adequate supply of industrial lands in high-tech industrial parks.
1Q21: Manufacturing Investment and Trade Performances
In the first quarter of 2021 (1Q21), Penang recorded RM1.1 billion in approved manufacturing investments (1Q20: RM7.1 billion) that were derived from 40 projects, according to Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). 52% of the investments came from domestic direct investments while the remaining 48% were contributed by foreign direct investments.
After two years of outstanding investment performances in a row, which include 2019’s all-time-high achievement, 2021 is deemed a consolidation year for the manufacturing industry. 1Q21’s investment performance is consistent with Penang’s investment historical trend, whereby a consolidation could happen, after one to two years of investment spike.
On the trade front, Penang continues playing substantial role in driving the country’s exports. Penang clocked up RM84.9 billion of exports in 1Q21 (+22% year-on-year), making it the top contributor of the country’s exports with a 30% share. Penang generated RM28.2 billion of trade surplus during the same period, representing 48% of Malaysia’s total.
That being said, the State is not resting on its laurels. We are continuously enhancing our policies to ensure Penang’s conducive business environment is sustained and solidifying our position as a preferred location for high quality investments. Underpinned by a healthy pipeline of investment enquiries that may materialize beyond this year, InvestPenang is targeting RM5 billion of manufacturing investments for 2021.
InvestPenang is the Penang State Government’s principal agency for promotion of investment. Its objectives are to develop and sustain Penang’s economy by enhancing and continuously supporting business activities in the State through foreign and local investments, including spawning viable new growth centres. To realize its objectives, InvestPenang also runs initiatives like the SMART Penang Centre (providing assistance to SMEs), Penang CAT Centre (for talent attraction and retention) and i4.0 seed fund (a catalyst for the start-up ecosystem).
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Yeoh Bit Kun/ Ooi Phei Wen