UNITED States companies and luminaries continue to develop innovative programmes to develop the Malaysia workforce, American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) president Ramzi Toubassy said.
“According to our Economic Impact Survey (a survey taken from 31 companies that highlighted their contributions to Malaysia), they have hired more than 80,000 employees most of which are Malaysians.
“The figure includes 16,500 engineers and more than 5,500 workers dedicated specifically to research, design and development activities.
“Last year, US companies in Penang made a combined salary payment of RM4.3 billion, contributing to the local economy and boosting the incomes and welfare of our employees.
“Penang is and will continue to be a key component of the US business in Malaysia. This is a new Malaysia and we look forward to working with you and the team for the coming years,” he told Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow in his speech during the ‘Penang Dialogue 2018 – Penang’s Competitive Edge: Developing Talent for the Digital Age’ event at E&O Hotel in Farquhar Street today.
The event, organised by Amcham, was attended by some 180 Amcham members and key stakeholders.
Toubassy said that the prosperity of US companies in Penang also meant prosperity for the people of Penang and the surrounding communities.
“We are here to grow together,” he added.
United States Ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir said American companies are wonderful community partners and they are agents of positive social change.
Chow said the United States was the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) contributor to the Penang economy from 2008 to 2017.
“Out of the RM69 billion approved investment recorded from 2008 to 2017, RM14.3 billion were from the US investors.
“A large portion of foreign direct reinvestments in Penang is from the United States luminaries such as Intel, Broadcom, Western Digital, Motorola, Keysight, Lumileds, Jabil, HP, Sandisk and Flex,” he said.
He was pleased to note the findings from Amcham’s 2018 Economic Impact Survey, that 24 electrical and electronics (E&E) companies from the United States had invested RM42 billion in Malaysia, encompassed FDIs, job creation, knowledge transfer and support for small and medium local enterprises.
Chow also responded to questions regarding transportation and global economic developments during the question and answer session.
He also took some time to visit the ‘Over Penang’ exhibition by photojournalist David S.T Loh, also at E&O Hotel.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Law Suun Ting