PETALING JAYA: Alton Industry Ltd, a US global supplier of consumer and commercial tools, appliances and floor care, is planning to invest at least RM500 million for a manufacturing and research and development (R&D) base in Johor.
The plan for the new facility was disclosed during a meeting between investment, trade and industry minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz and Alton president and CEO David Lu in New York today.
The facility is scheduled to be completed next year.
“Another company, which I am not able to name for the moment, will be investing a significant sum in Penang.
“Both Alton and this company have operations in China and they want to expand to Malaysia,” Tengku Zafrul said.
Strong investor confidence
Alton’s decision to set up its manufacturing and R&D facility in Johor reflected the group’s confidence in the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination.
“The investment also perfectly aligns with Malaysia’s recently launched New Industrial Master Plan 2030, which aims to create an investment-friendly environment and rapidly embrace technology to elevate the manufacturing sector’s ecosystem.
“These companies want to diversify their supply chain, and they are also looking to bring in their suppliers into Malaysia, thus firmly establishing Malaysia as a global technology and innovation hub,” Tengku Zafrul said.
The group also laid out its plan to invest over RM2 billion in the next seven years for its expansion and growth.
In a statement issued by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), Alton said that it is proud to expand its presence into Malaysia, especially with the plan to open its new manufacturing and R&D facility in Johor.
“This new facility will enable us to support our global customers and allow expansion to other markets quickly.
“The incentives from the federal, state and local governments, as well as the support in terms of infrastructure, make this a good investment move for the group,” it said.
Rising furniture exports
Meanwhile, another US firm Top-Line Furniture Corporation has expressed its intention to increase its imports from Malaysia over the next few years to RM230 million per year.
The company has been sourcing home furniture from Malaysia since 2000, with total imports amounting to approximately RM840 million to date.
Tengku Zafrul said the large furniture importer and wholesale distributor based in Chicago, Illinois has a significant network of distribution centres throughout North America and supplies to five of the largest furniture companies in the Mid-West region.
Malaysia exported RM13.86 billion of furniture globally in 2022, with the US being its top export destination at RM7.24 billion or 52.2% of the nation’s total furniture exports last year.
Malaysia was the US’s sixth largest source of imported furniture in 2022, accounting for 2.78% of the US total furniture and bedding import value, Tengku Zafrul said.