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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Penang may see more German investments

POTENTIAL INVESTORS: Ruffert (right) talking to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng after business-matching meetings. German firms are keen on more tie-ups.

GERMANY, the country's second largest foreign investor in the manufacturing sector, could step up investments in Penang, if a Malaysian-German business-matching event held on Tuesday bears fruit.

The importance of the matching-making efforts were underlined by the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce (MGCC), which had for the first time, led a whole German business delegation to the northern state.

German firms had pumped in some RM3.7 billion worth of investments into Malaysia, are keen on more tie-ups.

"We are looking for opportunities with potential partners... and of the 50 meetings held in this country, some 30 meetings were held in Penang," said Baden-Wurttemberg (BW) International's executive manager (international business cooperation for Asean) Christina Ruffert.

BW, Germany's third largest state, is the home base of industrial giants such as Daimler, Bosch, Porsche and SAP.

Some six German companies engaged in industries - such as furniture, metal processing, electrical and electronics, private equity investments for real estate and machines and tools - took part in the meetings.

Penang, the country's third most industrialiesd state after Selangor and Johor, houses an estimated 16 German companies in diversified fields such as semiconductor, medical devices, logistics and fine jewellery.

Among the noteable German names in Penang are Osram Optosemiconductor, B Braun Medical Industries, Robert Bosch, Schenker and OE Design, which employ more than 10,000 people in the state.

By New Straits Times (by Marina Emmanuel)

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