By V. Sivaji 

The Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) Northern Branch recently held its annual luncheon dialogue with the Chief Minister of Penang YAB Chow Kon Yeow.

Present to welcome the chief minister was Dato’ Brian Tan, Chairman of MICCI Northern Branch and his committee members.

The session was held at the Lexis Suites Penang. The theme for the day was “Enhancing Penang’s Competitiveness Beyond 2030”.

In his address Chow shed light on his vision and the key focus areas for Penang’s future development to achieve its Penang 2030 goals.

He revealed that Penang achieved a significant milestone by recording RM41.152 billion in exports in March this year, constituting an impressive 32% share of the nation’s exports. This accomplishment underscores Penang’s pivotal role in driving Malaysia’s economic growth and its status as a global trading hub.

He also unveiled several pivotal initiatives aimed at bolstering Penang’s standing as a global economic powerhouse across three key industries – trade, technology and tourism. With Penang being known for producing 5% of the world’s semiconductors, the Chief Minister Chow reaffirms its pivotal role in global technology supply chains with plans to further advance the semiconductor industry.

“Additionally, the Penang Port Master Plan 2023 – 2053 will be prioritised to ensure that Penang remains a vital hub for international trade and efforts are underway to enhance port and cruise businesses.

“To boost tourism in Penang, a cable car project is underway from Botanical Gardens to Penang Hill promises to elevate tourism experiences, attracting visitors and enhancing Penang’s allure as a top tourist destination.

“The Penang state government also plans to revitalise key waterfront areas and undergo urban rejuvenation across Swettenham Pier’s godowns and warehouses, coupled with enhancements in the Butterworth area through the Penang Bay Project.

“The federal government has given greenlight for the Kerian Integrated Green Industrial Park to supply surplus water from the park to Penang, with final details being discussed”, said Chow.

He also took time to entertain questions from the floor and also media members.  As usual, he was candid and frank in his replies and answered as many questions as possible.