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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

(The Star) Developing talent via German alliance

PETALING JAYA: The Government will be strengthening its bilateral collaboration with Germany to develop talent for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) via the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce.

This was agreed after a bilateral meeting on April 25 between International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan and German Minister of Economy and Energy Brigitte Zypries.

“Industry 4.0 is a combination of automation, digitalisation and connectivity,” Ong said after visiting one of the world’s largest industrial expos, Hannover Messe, in Germany, which ran from April 24 to 28.

The ministry said in a statement yesterday that small and medium enterprises in Malaysia should gradually transform their operations to adapt to Industry 4.0.

Ong said in July last year that the local manufacturing industry must invest in modernisation to keep up with technology changes in international markets.

Only 30% of the members of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers had begun investing in modern technology in preparation for Industry 4.0, he said.

During the Germany visit, Ong encouraged German companies such as automakers Volkswagen and BMW, electronics manufacturers Siemens and Muhlbauer, and medical and pharmaceutical device company B. Braun to expand their Industry 4.0 ecosystem to their companies in Malaysia.

He also gave a keynote address on “Asean in 2017: Taking New Opportunities through Trade Policy” at an Asean Forum on the sidelines of the expo.

He highlighted Malaysia’s initiatives to promote trade via the Asean Economic Community, the ongoing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiation and Malaysia’s participation in China’s Belt and Road initiative.

The two Malaysian companies participating in the expo were Bilfort, which specialises in aluminium and carbon steel precision forging, and Linkk Busway Systems, which specialises in design and manufacturing of electrical busway system.