The recent public announcement on the New York Stock Exchanged-listed Boston Scientific Corp commencing operations at its first Asian factory in Penang in Batu Kawan Industrial Park is a strong vote of confidence in Penang as a location of choice for investment. This is the 19th global manufacturing facility for the medical device giant, and its first in Asia.
According to its vice-president and general manager of manufacturing and distribution for Malaysia Dave Mitchell, the company has injected “hundreds of million of ringgit” into the new plant, with plans to add as many as 400 new local jobs over two years. He added “the company ultimately selected the Penang site for its high-skilled workforce, infrastructure to support manufacturing and business friendliness”.
An official opening ceremony is scheduled to take place in February 2018. Boston Scientific’s new manufacturing plant spans 375,000 sq ft over a 20-acre (8.1ha) parcel. The facility will begin producing two of the company’s state-of-the-art medical products that are used in cardiovascular and endoscopy this year. Boston Scientific intends to expand its production to include urology products next year. Boston Scientific has more than 13,000 products in its global portfolio. Presently, Boston Scientific supplies medical technologies to more than 100 countries, out of which 15 are in Asia.
For the year ended Dec 31, 2016 (FY16), Boston Scientific achieved a revenue of US$8.39 billion, a 12% growth from the previous year. The company is expecting revenue for FY17 to be in a range of US$8.675 billion to US$8.875 billion.
This investment by a US company besides the recent expansion of UST Global and upcoming Broadcom Global Distribution Warehouse opening proves untrue allegations by certain irresponsible parties that American investment is not coming to Penang.
Even Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) highlighted Boston Scientific’s investment in Penang in a full page advertisement in the August 26th – September 1st issue of “The Economist”. MIDA stated that Boston Scientific will be producing structural heart components, medical optical fibres and endoscopy biopsy devices. “Malaysia is an ideal geographic location with an infrastructure that is conducive for business, particularly in the growing medical device sector,” says Ed Mackey, an executive vice-president at Boston Scientific.
LIM GUAN ENG