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Malaysia chosen as home for new innovation centre

A Hong Kong-based hygiene company recently announced it will invest more than RM500 million on a new regional hub in Malaysia and other projects in the region over the next five years.

A 27-acre site in Bandar Bukit Raja, Klang will house an automated finished goods warehouse, a double-storey plant with raw material warehouse and a six-storey administration block that will also feature an innovation centre.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2021, while the second phase by 2023, reporters were told at the ground-breaking ceremony of the firm’s new regional hub as well as its first innovation centre outside China.

The new plant represented a high-value investment for Malaysia.

The firm’s Innovation Centre is the only one outside of China, incorporating a range of green technologies in its design such as solar panels, rainwater harvesting and waste management including water treatment and composting of organic waste.

The regional headquarters will not only centralise expertise and high-value activities in Malaysia, but also make the group globally competitive using the latest technologies and automation.

The firm expects the changes to increase its capacity by more than 20 per cent when the facilities are fully in operation.

Malaysia was chosen over several other countries; the country’s good infrastructure, a culturally diverse workforce and ease of logistics were the deciding factors.

The regional hub will develop, manufacture and market four different product categories including baby care, incontinence care, feminine care and tissue products.

This was an obvious decision for the firm to set up its regional hub and Innovation Centre in Malaysia to support continuous growth expansion in Southeast Asia.

The plant will employ about 1,300 staff, almost all of whom are Malaysians. They will form part of the firm’s 11,000-strong workforce in Asia.

Pushing Malaysia’s Industry 4.0 goals

Malaysia’s National Policy on Industry 4.0 notes that regulation is a key enabler of Malaysia’s Industry 4.0 transformation.

Special emphasis will need to be on increasing awareness of the need and benefits of adopting Industry 4.0

The government is working to develop and commercialise new technologies and processes that address specific needs in priority sectors will be crucial to retain Malaysia’s position as a preferred high-tech and manufacturing hub and supply chain partner.

The fact that a growing number of international firms are choosing Malaysia as the locations for their regional hubs is proof that the country’s economic policies and favourable business environment are working.

Making Malaysia the destination for hi-tech industry

In November 2018, Malaysia’s Prime Minister unveiled plans for Malaysia to become one of the main destinations for the high-tech industry by 2025.

The four-pronged strategy for Malaysia aims to put on a stronger footing in the manufacturing sector through higher productivity, contribution, innovation and increasing the number of high-skilled workers at the launch of the National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD).

The manufacturing sector has contributed 23% to the gross domestic product and 98.5% of Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are in this sector.

For Malaysia to become a developed nation, the fourth industrial revolution (IR4.0) is a crucial step to leap forward for the manufacturing industry.

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