Manufacturing, services sectors still bright spots

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MALAYSIA continues to attract investments in the manufacturing and services sectors despite a dim investment trend in the region.

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) chief executive officer Datuk Noharuddin Nordin said during the first three months of this year, investments in these sectors are still looking bright.

“Although recent signals elsewhere in Asia point to a slowing as indicated in China, Malaysia remains relatively more competitive,” He said after the launch of FOBO Wireless Tag.

Noharuddin said the first quarter investment performance will be announced in mid-May.

He said the recent thumbs up by the International Monetary Fund with regard to Malaysia’s growth potential in 2013 also places Malaysia on the investment radar.

Mida has been combing foreign direct investment interest into Malaysia to ensure that they provide the value-add instead of the heavy capital investments, which the country used to attract in previous decades for its labour-intensive manufacturing industries.

“With a narrowing window of eight years (to become a high-income economy), we have to continue to be selective,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ipoh-based Balda Solutions Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which launched the FOBO Wireless Tag, has invested RM2 million on research and development (RandD) to create the tags.

FOBO Tag, a device to monitor children, elderly, pets, vehicles and valuable belongings, uses the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology and smartphone applications.

Balda Solutions chief executive James Lim said it aims to sell more than 60,000 pieces of the wireless tags by year-end to the Malaysian and Singapore markets. It has also sent a shipment to the US market.

The FOBO Tag was fully-designed by Malaysians, manufactured in Malaysia and all the global trademarks and patents are held in Malaysia.

Lim said the team took a bold step a year ago to create FOBO Tag, adding that many challenges were imminent as the Bluetooth 4 technology was new in the market and the supporting industries were not ready.

The RandD activities could also boost local supplier base and more than 60 per cent of FOBO Tag’s mechanical components are purchased from Malaysian-based suppliers.

Business Times : nation

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