PETALING JAYA: Despite having the highest number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in Malaysia by state, Selangor remains steadfast in its strategies and focus to attract investments.
“Due to the movement restrictions, the methodology and promotion activities have been done differently since last year, where we improved our technology capacity and conducted our engagement and promotional activities online,” Invest Selangor CEO Datuk Hasan Azhari Idris told SunBiz.
At the same time, he reported that there is an uptick of interest in domestic investment or expansion and the agency has undertaken engagement activities to facilitate such investments.
“Moving forward, we feel that the dynamics of the sectors that will be investing and expanding their operations will change accordingly, and we will look into that as and when they materialise,” said Hasan.
With the diversification and investments by property developers into glove manufacturing as an example, he expressed that Invest Selangor is more than happy to facilitate their new business
ventures should they decide to set it up in the state.
In 2020, Selangor contributed RM38.7 billion towards the RM164 billion approved investments registered by Malaysia, ahead of RM32 billion contributed by Sabah and RM19.6 billion by Sarawak.
The achievement is driven by its emphasis on five core clusters – electrical and electronic products, transport equipment, life sciences, food & beverage manufacturing, and machinery & equipment.
Nonetheless, the agency has taken efforts to disseminate the latest information and initiatives undertaken by the state to investors to help them understand the current situation in the state.
“The Selangor state government is taking multiple initiatives to manage the uncertainties and the indirect effect of the outbreak, to manage the risks and fears of industries,” said the CEO.
Among these is the “prevention of outbreak at ignition site”, which has been implemented to ensure reduction in the rate of Covid-19 infections in the workplace, especially in industrial and manufacturing areas.
This programme requires businesses to carry out strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) which entail a routine screening of workers, reviewing the travel history of employees and conducting regular tests.
Hasan highlighted that the state government provides complimentary state-wide screening and proactive efforts to impose stop-work orders due to the pandemic are done at minimum cost to manufacturers.
“The Selangor government has discussed with the federal government to help provide additional options for industries to purchase approved vaccines for their workers to help expedite the National Immunisation Programme by the federal government,” said Hasan.
This is a step that will ensure investors and their manufacturing sites will be able to mitigate the spread of the virus faster, resulting in less disruptions to operations.
Hasan said the safety of employees is one of the main concerns of investors.
“In addition, investors are worried about the ability to continue operating during the current height of the pandemic. Although currently the International Trade and Industry Ministry is supporting the idea of allowing manufacturers to operate as usual, the continuous increase in cases may require a stop-work order for them.”
The state government plans to go ahead with its inaugural Selangor Aviation Show in August this year, to showcase its capabilities as an investment destination for the aerospace industry. The CEO revealed that the (physical) event, to be held at the SkyPark Regional Aviation Centre Subang, is currently slated to continue as planned with very strict SOPs in place.
“However, we will be monitoring the latest situation in the country, consult the National Security Council and will decide accordingly,” he said.
Malaysia today reported a record high of 6,976 new Covid-19 cases in a single day, with 2,235 of them in Selangor.