At the Penang Summit, YAB Lim Guan Eng introduced some existing and new initiatives for the year 2011, to enhance Penang's economic competitiveness. He said that these programs would also include attractive incentives for foreign and local companies operating in Penang. Penang was the leading investment destination in Malaysia last year, recording a total RM12.2 billion, amounting to 26% of total investments in the country.
YAB Lim Guan Eng acknowledged the tremendous contributions by the U.S-based Electrical and Electronic (E&E) sector in providing employment and business opportunities to the people of Penang.
"The AMCHAM Penang Summit has been scheduled at the right time for the Penang government leaders to meet with the U.S. Ambassador. This is an excellent platform for the heads of U.S. firms in Penang to strengthen their working relationship with the government of Penang, and to gather feedback on easing red tape and expediting approvals without compromising on proper regulatory requirements."
"Our success in attracting established U.S. firms into Penang reflects our good infrastructure and skilled workforce, which are consistent with our goal in developing a knowledge-economy. Our emphasis on good governance and greater civil service efficiency is obviously among the strong decision influencers when it comes to FDIs," said YAB Lim Guan Eng.
Ambassador Jones commented, "My team and I are delighted to take part in today's discussion organized by the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. We are proud of the long history between Penang and leading U.S. companies who have been here since the 1970s. Their presence has been a mainstay in our bilateral trade and investment relationship, and a driver of Malaysia's economic progress." The Ambassador noted that the United States is Malaysia's largest foreign investor, and cited President Obama's commitment to expand U.S. trade with the region, through the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S. National Export Initiative.
Malaysia's electronic and electrical sector attracted U.S. investments of RM10.2 billion in 2010, followed by the machinery and equipment sector at RM496 million. The scientific and measuring equipment sector attracted RM61.7 million. The top two foreign investors in Penang last year were U.S. companies, Western Digital Corp and Jabil. Other of U.S. firms that announced expansion initiatives in Penang include Cisco, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Agilent Technologies Inc, and Motorola. Total U.S.-Malaysia trade was almost $40 billion in 2010.