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China boost for Senai Hi-Tech Park
13 February 2010

Senai Hi-Tech Park, Malaysia's second high technology industrial park, got off to a promising start with investments of more than US$500 million (RM1.7 billion) from two companies in Johor. 

China-based EQ Solar Technology International Sdn Bhd plans to invest US$500 million to produce solar modules while leading industrial gases provider MOX-Linde Gases Sdn Bhd, through its initial outlay of RM60 million, plans to set up an industrial gases separation plant.

Senai High Tech Park chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Ahmad Shukri Tajudin said this shows that the park is ready to compete as another preferred location for high-technology manufacturing, research and innovation activities.

Located within Iskandar Malaysia, the park has drawn interest from investors in the US, Europe and China.

"Interest is in various sectors including semiconductor industry and solar," he said at a media briefing.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"We're expecting a few more similar investments," Mustapa said, without disclosing details.

Malaysia has so far attracted several global solar industry players like First Solar, Sunpower and Q-Cells. There are also several domestic investments in solar power projects in Selangor and Sabah.

Mustapa hopes that the park will create more jobs, similar to what was achieved at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in the north. The park has attracted numerous multinational corporations to its 1,700ha site.

Senai Hi-Tech Park, a subsidiary of MMC Corp Bhd's wholly-owned Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd, is being developed into a third-generation science and technology park offering ideal location, infrastructure and a "service-rich environment".

It is eyeing investments in the avionics/aeronautics industry, ICT industry including integrated circuit design, high-tech manufacturing, bio-medical and bio-technology, solar industry, food and agri-technology and environment including renewable energy.

Ahmad Shukri, who was previously chief of the Kulim Hi-Tech Park, is confident that Senai Hi-Tech Park will match Kulim's success as it is nearer to Singapore and facilities like the Senai International Airport, expressways and ports.

The park is expected to draw high-tech manufacturing activities with a dedicated research and development zone.

Through the zone, it aims to bring international instructors at university level to train locals in new specific skills especially for electronic and electrical, semiconductor, photonics, optoelectronics and nanotechnology companies.

Located next to Senai International Airport, it is one of three parts of the multi-billion ringgit Senai Airport City project. The project will also have residential and commercial properties, and an air cargo logistics centre.

Source: Business Times

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