Back to the Future
Penang has, over the decades, grown in leaps and bounds as the Electrical & Electronic (E & E) manufacturing producer in Asian Region, and it captures approximately 5% of the annual global semiconductor exports. The journey to be Penang is what it is today started five decades ago in the 1970s with 8 manufacturing facilities – a.k.a. the 8-Samurai, namely companies such as Hewlett Packard (now Keysight Technologies and Agilent Technologies), Robert Bosch, AMD and Litronix). This was further complemented by the setting up the Designs and Excellence Centres for global E&E manufacturers throughout the 1980s.
Success bred success. In the 1990s, Penang became one of the critical locations for Apple’s global supply chain, and the precision and testing equipment manufacturing grew tremendously. In the 2000s, it expanded further to be the manufacturing base for medical devices and boasted 6 of 30 top global companies made home in Penang. Some 300 multi-national companies are now based in Penang, supporting small and medium industries (SMEs), about 3000. It is not surprising to see the state-of-the-art facilities such as the seaports, logistical bases and the numerous industrial estates that grew on the back of the success story of Penang.
In conclusion, Batu Kawan Industrial Park is the economic game-changer up north as it will open up industrial space from the current congestion on Penang Island. Numerous big names have moved in, and more will follow suit. With Penang Development Authority behind it, one would expect first-class town planning, infrastructure and facilities to be available to the investors.
The future is here.
This article was written by Irhamy Ahmad.