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Monday, April 7, 2008

Penang as outsourcing and training hub

The new Penang state government wants to develop the state into an outsourcing and training centre for new industries.

Lim Guan Eng says Penang state government will continue leveraging on its core competencies in the manufacturing and electronic sectors.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng told StarBiz that the animation business was one of the industries being explored.

“An animation valley should preferably be located on the island. It should comprise private schools and animation companies.

“The schools can provide the training while the companies can receive jobs outsourced from overseas countries,” he said.

Lim said the idea was to model the centre after the Hamburger University owned by fast-food chain McDonald's. “Students trained at the university are then sent to the different outlets of the group worldwide.

“Similarly students trained by the schools can obtain employment from the companies at the centre. This would help Penang to become an animation hub in the Asean region,” he said.

According to Lim, many local students trained in the animation field at public vocational schools have to go to other countries such as Singapore to find work.

“With such a centre here, they can stay back in Penang instead,” he said. Lim envisions the centre as a private and public initiative. “The state government would look into giving appropriate incentives for the private sector to take part in the project,” he said.

Lim said the state government would continue leveraging on its core competencies in the manufacturing and electronic sectors.

“We will also carry on looking for new investments that can offer highpaying jobs,” he added.

On the housing sector, Lim said the Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H) was an important source of revenue for the state.

“The bulk of investment for MM2H comes to Penang, amounting to about RM500mil per annum.

“We will take immediate steps to clean up the beaches, beef up security and introduce new tourism products to attract more investments into Penang for second homes,” he said.

Lim said the state government was also exploring the setting up of an international exposition centre at the current Pesta site in Sungai Nibong.

“Besides the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA), we need to have another centre for exhibition purposes.

“The plan is also to have a food and beverage complex to showcase the well-known local delicacies,” he said.

By The Star

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