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Malaysia aims to be the hi-tech investment destination

Malaysia is working to become the preferred destination for high-tech investment through Industry4WRD, according to the nation’s Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister.

The government also aims to be a comprehensive total solutions provider for advanced technology in the region.

With proper implementation, the government is confident that by 2025, it will be able to achieve improved labour productivity, increase manufacturing’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), enhance innovation capacity and create more high-skilled jobs.

The government has outlined Industry4WRD’s broad strategies and action plans in order to support the transformation of the manufacturing sector.

The policy aims to provide a holistic ecosystem that facilitates digital transformation through the five strategic enablers of funding, infrastructure, regulatory framework, skills and talent as well as technologies.

Malaysia will continue to work with many countries in adopting and advancing smart manufacturing.

The benefits of smart manufacturing have far-reaching implications as they have the potential to make manufacturing more agile and responsive, reduce equipment downtime and achieve greater operational and cost efficiencies.

Under the National Policy on Industry 4.0, a strong manufacturing sector would pave the way to enhanced productivity, job creation, innovation capacity, high-skilled talent pool and ultimately economic prosperity and societal well-being.

This would position Malaysia as a primary destination for smart manufacturing globally and attract more high-tech investments.

To this end, the government will work to establish and implement standards for interoperability, quality and safety for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 technologies.

Standards and interoperability of systems are important to facilitate extensive adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and processes, given the need for collaboration and integration along manufacturing and supply chains.

These standards need to be clear, well documented and accessible and allow Malaysian-based manufacturing firms to integrate both within local and global production networks and supply chains.

A lack of awareness in digitalisation and Industry 4.0 is one of the main barriers to embark on smart manufacturing transformation.

A greater understanding of Industry 4.0 is, therefore, crucial for manufacturing firms to make informed decisions on investments, especially in assessing impact, determining costs and benefits of automation, and capitalising on data. Structured awareness programmes are needed to educate and promote the understanding and need for action to local firms, particularly SMEs.

To help with this, Malaysia will undertake a comprehensive Industry 4.0 awareness program across all stakeholders with a particular focus on SMEs, and create a regulatory sandbox that enables firms to manage regulatory risks during the testing stage.

The Malaysian government will also increase understanding of the need, benefits and opportunities of Industry 4.0. In addition, more manufacturing firms will be urged to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies and processes.

Another strategy that will be adopted by the Government will work to enhance the capabilities of the existing workforce through national development programmes specially designed for specific manufacturing sectors and support reskilling and upskilling.

The transition to smart manufacturing business models, technologies and processes are rapidly changing the required skillsets for the existing workforce.

Many firms, especially SMEs, will require more structured and up-to-date training and skills development avenues for developing and maintaining world-class practices and capabilities within their workforce, including experts with advanced Industry 4.0 knowledge.

This strategy aims to both upskill the existing workforce and mitigate the potential impact on jobs.

It is evident that Malaysia is creating more options and solutions to ensure its digital transformation.

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