Smith+Nephew opened its new high technology manufacturing facility in Batu Kawan Industrial Park in Penang, Malaysia. The 250,000 square-foot facility, worth more than USD100 million in investment, will primarily support the company’s Orthopaedics business, which is expected to grow strongly in the Asia Pacific region.
The new manufacturing facility was officiated by the Chief Minister of Penang, YAB. Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, in the presence of Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Dr. Deepak Nath, CEO of Smith+Nephew.
Aligned to the company’s refreshed Strategy for Growth pillar to strengthen its foundation, this new facility will enable Smith+Nephew to serve customers and their patients sustainably through advanced manufacturing. Up to 800 new local jobs in manufacturing, engineering and supply chain will be created over the next few years with key roles already filled.
“Penang is pleased to be the choice location for Smith+Nephew, serving as an acknowledgment of the skilled talent, well-developed infrastructure and resilient environment the state holds. Dubbed as the Silicon Valley of the East, the state’s robust industrial ecosystem not only enables us to accelerate the breakthroughs in the electrical and electronics industry, but further entrenches our position as a medical devices hub in the region. Particularly, Penang has the highest concentrations of medical technology companies in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.” said YAB Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang.
Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman, CEO of MIDA congratulated Smith+Nephew on the opening of the Company’s new manufacturing facility saying, “Malaysia is very excited to host Smith+Nephew’s manufacturing production to support the company’s growing Orthopaedics franchise. This facility will be the Company’s first manufacturing venture within Southeast Asia. This demonstrates our ability in attracting renowned medical devices manufacturers into Malaysia. Smith+Nephew’s presence will also encourage growth of local companies and our medical devices industry’s ecosystem, and strengthen our reputation as an ideal med-tech manufacturing hub in ASEAN.”
Dr. Deepak Nath, CEO of Smith+Nephew said: “We are thrilled to open this new manufacturing facility in Malaysia which represents our commitment to Asia Pacific, Malaysia, our customers and their patients. It is also a critical piece of our Strategy for Growth, improving efficiency and resilience, and supports our purpose of Life Unlimited so that patients across the region and beyond can return to living life to their fullest.”
Smith+Nephew’s manufacturing facility is a frontrunner in sustainability and achieved its goal of zero waste-to-landfill four years ahead of target. In December 2021, it was recognised by the United Nations Global Compact Network for Malaysia and Brunei in the category of SDG Benchmark 4: Zero Waste to Landfill and Incineration. The American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility also presented the team with an AMCHAM CARES award for creating long term economic and social values within the community in 2021.
Smith+Nephew also provides a bursary to students from the Penang Skills Development Centre who will be employed and trained as machinists upon their graduation at the Company.
Malaysia is well-positioned to be the manufacturing hub for the medical devices industry in Asia. Presently, Malaysia is home to over 200 manufacturers, with more than 30 medical devices MNCs producing high value-added medical devices. The second and third tiers of medical device manufacturers for parts and components of medical devices have increased opportunities for local vendors to be integrated into the global supply chain of this industry.
For 2021 alone, MIDA has approved 38 medical devices-related manufacturing projects worth RM7.68 billion (USD1.84 billion), which are expected to create approximately 12,500 employment opportunities for the country. The industry shows great promise in generating high-income jobs, increasing export value, and reinforcing the domestic supply chain ecosystem.