US E&E firms to expand operations in M’sia, totalling RM1 bil investment

MALAYSIA is set to welcome significant investments from two major US electrical and electronic firms with a total commitment of at least RM1 bil, bolstering the nation’s position as a prime investment destination. 

One of the firms Alton Industry Ltd Group (Alton Group), a renowned global supplier of consumer and commercial tools, appliances, and floor care products has announced plans to invest a minimum of RM500 mil in establishing a manufacturing and research and development (R&D) hub in Johor.

This expansion project expected to conclude by 2024 was unveiled during a meeting between Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and Alton Group CEO and president David Lu.

“Another company, which I am not able to name for the moment, will be investing a significant sum in Penang. Both Alton Group and this company have operations in China and they want to expand to Malaysia,” he stated at a press conference.

Tengku Zafrul pointed out that Alton Group’s decision to establish its manufacturing and R&D facility in Malaysia underscores the nation’s allure as an investment hub.

He also emphasised that this investment aligns seamlessly with Malaysia’s recently introduced New Industrial Master Plan 2030 designed to foster an investment-friendly environment and expedite the adoption of technology in the manufacturing sector.

“These companies want to diversify their supply chain, and they are also looking to bring in their suppliers into Malaysia, thus firmly establishing Malaysia as a global technology and innovation hub,” said Tengku Zafrul.

During discussions with the minister, Alton Group also outlined its ambitious plans to invest over RM2 bil in Malaysia over the next seven years for further expansion and growth.

Meanwhile, US-based firm Top-Line Furniture Corporation (Top-Line) planned to boost its Malaysian imports to RM230 mil annually. Since 2000, they’ve sourced home furniture from Malaysia, totalling around RM840 mil.

Top-Line headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, boasts an extensive distribution network across North America and supplies five major furniture companies in the Mid-West region.

Malaysia’s furniture exports reached RM13.86 bil globally in 2022, with the US serving as the leading export destination, accounting for RM7.24 bil or 52.2% of the nation’s total furniture exports last year.

Besides, Malaysia also ranked as the sixth-largest source of imported furniture for the US in 2022, contributing to 2.78% of the US’s total furniture and bedding import value.

In response to the investment, Alton Group expressed its pride in expanding its global presence through the establishment of a new manufacturing facility in Johor Bahru.

“This new facility will enable us to support our global customers and allow expansion to other markets quickly. The incentives from the federal, state and local governments, in addition to the support in terms of infrastructure make this a good investment move for the group,” it said.

With operations spanning over 75 countries worldwide, including offices in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Europe, and the US, Alton Group’s Johor Bahru facility will serve as a global R&D centre for its innovative technology platforms. – Sept 20, 2023


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