SEBERANG PERAI, June 28 — Penang recorded RM6.3 billion in total approved manufacturing investments in the first quarter of 2022, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said that based on its performance, Penang will continue to be among the top contributors in the country in terms of total investment inflow this year.

This is after the state, dubbed as the Silicon Valley of the East, garnered a record high of RM76.2 billion in total approved manufacturing investments in 2021.

Chow said Penang's manufacturing sector was the highest recipient of foreign direct investments (FDI) last year.

"On the trade front, Penang topped the nation’s list in 2021 with an all-time high export value of RM354 billion, among which electrical and electronics products and medical devices made up about 80 per cent of the total exports,” he said during a speech at the grand opening of Smith & Nephew’s manufacturing facility in Batu Kawan Industrial Park here today.

He said Penang is becoming a medical device hub in the region with the opening of Smith & Nephew’s first manufacturing facility in Southeast Asia here.

"With global revenues of US$5.2 billion (RM22.8 billion) in 2021, Smith & Nephew is among the 30 largest medical device firms in the world,” he said.

He added that Smith & Nephew is a leading global medical technology company that specialises in the orthopaedics, sports medicine, ear, nose and throat and advanced wound management sub-segments.

He said with over 18,000 employees worldwide, Smith & Nephew has a presence in more than 100 countries,

"This 250,000 square-foot facility in Penang will focus on the orthopaedics franchise to be used by healthcare professionals in Asia Pacific and other parts of the world for their patients,” he said.

"With Smith & Nephew’s investment, it is expected to create 800 high-value jobs in the coming years,” he said.

He said the medical technology company’s presence in Penang will add to the medical devices and technology ecosystem in Penang.

"With their presence here, the medical tech sector will continue to grow in Penang,” he said.

According to Smith & Nephew Operations Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director and site leader Mark Arthun, the company does not have plans to bring in foreign labour to work in the new plant.

"We are employing as many Malaysians as possible, we are offering high value and highly skilled positions here,” he said in a press conference.

He said the plant is now fully operational and the first batch of Malaysian-made products will be manufactured and released by July this year.

"The first products will be sold in the United States and eventually, products from this plant will be distributed globally,” he said.