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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        14  April 2011

Penang gets new Japanese investment

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Malaysia’s Penang received a shot in the arm with a RM1billion (US$ 333.32 million) investment by Japan's Ibiden Co Ltd, the world's largest printed circuit board (PCB) maker.

President and chief executive officer Hiroki Takenaka said the amount would be pumped into its second facility in the Penang science park in Bukit Minyak here.

He said the company had already invested RM1.2bil in its first plant in 2008.

“As a long-term plan, we decided to expand our operations here in Penang based on our resources and initial investment.

“We also appreciate the support given by the Penang state government,” he said after Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng opened Ibiden Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd's first plant and performed the groundbreaking for the second plant yesterday.

Hiroki said construction on the second plant would begin next month and it was expected to begin operations by October next year.

He said both plants would manufacture printed wiring boards (PWB) for high-end smart phones.

“We hope to develop the first plant as among the most competitive factories in the world's smart phone PWB industry by the end of the year.

“And combined with the second plant, we hope to become a leader in PWB manufacturing using one of the most advanced technology and with the largest production capacity in the world,” he said.

Lim thanked Ibiden for its commitment to Penang, noting that both facilities would help create about 2,000 jobs.

”We are very proud to have Ibiden as part of our electrical and electronics family in Penang. They produce hi-tech products that are critical for the world's consumer market and we hope they will continue to expand their operations here,” he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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