The electrical and electronics (E&E) industry will keep on playing a major contributor the the country's economy.
According to International Trade and Industry (MITI)'s deputy minister, Liew Chin Tong, the contributions from the E&E industry cover aspects including job creation, investment, exports and multiplier and spill-over impacts to the rest of the Malaysian economy.
"E&E has moved beyond just manufacturing, into higher-value and high-skilled activities like design and development and global business services. Malaysia is the regional and global headquarters/center for many of these manufacturing and services activities, with many Malaysians holding global and regional leadership roles," he said at the inaugural MSIA 2022 E&E Survey at MIDA Sentral.
Despite the short-term global economic headwinds, the long-term outlook for semiconductors and electronics continues to be extremely bright. E&E companies remain focused on recruiting, retaining and developing talent, as well as on supply chain resilience, digitalization, Industry 4.0 and ESG initiatives.
Based on the survey, which was commissioned by MSIA and produced collaboratively with Deloitte Malaysia, the outlook for 2023 remains soft, with 50 per cent of the surveyed E&E companies expecting a decline in orders, while 25 per cent of the surveyed E&E companies are still expecting an increase in orders as some product categories will see continued growth while other categories will see a decline.
Sixty-five per cent of the surveyed E&E companies are still pushing ahead with planned capital expenditures and investments. This is important as Malaysia has already attracted E&E investments of RM186.2 billion since January 2020 (2020 – RM15.6 billion, 2021 – RM148.0 billion and from January to September 2022 - RM22.6 billion).
"This reflects the long-term prospects of the industry and businesses confidence in Malaysia as a location for semiconductors and electronics," said Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai.
"The E&E sector is the golden goose of Malaysia. It must be constantly nurtured so that the industry remains relevant and competitive," he said.
"For Malaysia to be globally competitive, Malaysia needs to focus on the 'War for Talent' through closer Government–Industry collaboration and closer Industry-Academia collaboration," he said.
The Fourth Quarter 2022 Bulletin by Bank Negara reaffirmed that the realization of new and existing investment will be a key driver of growth for the Malaysian economy amid the challenging global environment.
"I would like to encourage more E&E companies to join MSIA, so that our collective voice is stronger through MSIA. Whilst semiconductors are a widely prized industry all over the world, we in MSIA equally prize something related to chips, which is data," he said.
The MSIA 2022 E&E Survey captures the contributions of 93 MSIA members including semiconductors and electronics, from manufacturing to services, and provides an encompassing profile of the industry, investments, job creation, challenges, priorities and business outlook.