GEORGE TOWN, Jan 11 -- Penang will adjust to the structural changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions, and capitalise on emerging opportunities for a sustainable, long term recovery.
In a statement, special investment advisor to Penang Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon said the pandemic and US-China trade war have triggered a shift that is in favour of practices that ensure reliability, consistency and security of supply.
“This, in turn, has prompted corporates to diversify their geographical footprint, including into locations such as Penang.
“Concurrently, the current trade and geopolitical dynamics have also created opportunities for Penang-based companies to penetrate supply chains that were previously closed to us, as well as emerging business blocks that were previously monopolised by multinational companies,” he said.
He noted that closure of international borders, sluggish economic activities, periodic disruptions to manufacturing production and a deferment of direct investments would likely continue at least through the first half of this year.
While the COVID-19 vaccine is already available, he said issues such as its efficacy, the ability to scale up production, distribution logistics and priority of vaccination remain unsolved.
According to Lee, the US-China trade war would continue despite the transition in the US presidency, and potentially escalate with a more coordinated response against China from the industrialised world.
China, he said, would likely maintain its stance and not allow domestic policies and national security to be dictated by industrialised nations.
“In all of this, time is of the essence. The state will need to capitalise on this new wave of opportunities or face losing out to other countries in the race to fill the gap. To ride the wave, we need talent,” he said.
Moving forward, he said Penang would continue to focus on strengthening its competitive edge to attract high-quality foreign and domestic direct investments by churning out high-quality talent pool, which is essential to further propel its advanced manufacturing and knowledge-intensive service sectors.
"Nurturing talent pool is Penang’s utmost priority in 2021, and the state government will endeavour to identify, nurture and develop local talent, and the economy, to its fullest potential,” he added.
Malaysian National News Agency
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