FARNBOROUGH (Thurs): A smooth transition in the change of government and a stable economic and political landscape have ensured continued confidence in Malaysia as a country to invest in as it looks to accelerate its push as a hub for aerospace industry in the South East Asian region.
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) chief executive officer Ir Dr Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros, who is attending the Farnborough International Airshow 2018, after meeting foreign aerospace companies, said they are hopeful that Malaysia continues to be a healthy place to invest.
“I feel the new government is open to new suggestions and this is an advantage for us to study and give new ideas on how we can further develop our economy,” he added.
This third participation at the biennial international show that combines a major trade exhibition for the aerospace and defence industries with a public airshow, saw the presence of 17 Malaysian companies including National Aerospace Industry Coordinating Office (NAICO), Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC), UMW Group and Invest Selangor Bhd.
MATRADE, as the country’s trade promotion agency, urged European companies in the aerospace industry to look to Malaysia as their supplier of products or services in areas such as original equipment manufacturers (OEM), aerospace manufacturing, engineering services, precision parts, components, education & training as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services.
Currently, Malaysia’s top trading destinations in Europe for the aerospace industry are the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.
“The aerospace industry is very important to Malaysia. If we compare it with industries in the region, we have several advantages in terms of competency, human capital and ecosystem. We have developed companies which are already at the international level.
“We also have the advantage of producing high quality products at low cost and we are able to bring our companies to the international level,” he added.
Malaysia, although relatively new in the field, compared to other countries such as the United States and other European countries, already has almost 230 aerospace companies and some have grown substantially.
In recent years the sector has seen a surge in investments with several multinationals establishing and expanding operations across the country.
Shahreen said the Malaysian government is committed to spurring growth of the aerospace industry as it aims to make Malaysia the leading aerospace nation in South East Asia.
“By 2030, the industry is targeted to generate an annual revenue of USD14.3 billion and create more than 32,000 high income jobs for Malaysia.
“The Malaysian aerospace industry is seen by the Malaysian Government as a strategic industry, which has vast potential in the country’s industrialisation and technological development programmes,” he said.
“If we are to compare with other countries in the region, we are second after Singapore, but we are ahead of the curve. We must work hard to ensure that we are ahead of the competition and we need to find our competitive advantage so that we will achieve our targets early.”
Among the foreign aerospace companies in Malaysia include GE Engine Services Malaysia, Airbus, Spirit AeroSystems, Safran, Aerospace Composite Malaysia and Honeywell Aerospace Services.
Local companies have made great strides in the aerospace industry include SME Aerospace, CTRM Aero Composite, UMW Aerospace, Asia Aerotechnics, Airod and Strand Aerospace Malaysia.
Malaysian players are also at the forefront of several markets, including in aero-composites manufacturing as well as aircraft components design and manufacturing.
In 2018, the industry is expected to grow at 5 per cent in Malaysia, with aero manufacturing sector contributing 54 per cent of the overall aerospace industry revenue.
The MRO is set to continue expanding, especially in the aero engine and components segment.
Partnerships with the European counterparts will help benefit the Malaysian local supply chain and push the adoption of cutting-edge technology among Malaysian companies particularly the Small and Medium Enterprises.
Source: New Straits Times