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Interest in solar industry remains intact, says Mida [27-03-2013]  
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Malaysia still receives interest from investors in upstream solar manufacturing projects as well as production of components for photovoltaic system despite global challenges faced by the solar industry.

Malaysia Investment Development Authority (Mida) said this is despite a big industry player Germany's Bosch announcing that it was pulling the plug on its solar panel operations including its planned RM2.2 billion solar panel manufacturing plant in Penang.

The investment authority said the continued interest by other players in the industry shows that investors still believe in the future of the solar industry, albeit in hopes of seeing further improvements in technology and cost parity with other sources of energy.

"Malaysia will continue to promote the development of the solar industry by giving more focus to complete the solar ecosystem in the country and also by creating more opportunities for domestic investors to venture into the solar business.

"Despite the pullout of its investment in Malaysia for solar manufacturing, Robert Bosch still has investment presence in Malaysia through its associated manufacturing companies such as Robert Bosch (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (consumer electronics, telecommunication products and automotive components) and Robert Bosch Power Tools Sdn Bhd (electric power tools)," Mida said in an email to Business Times.

Although the business climate is cloudy for solar panels with severe competition and price turmoils pushing out some big players from the game or sending their books solidly into the red, the governing body is confident that solar companies in Malaysia will remain operational and are even actively planning to develop quality solar products with better efficiency and cost reduction through improvements in technology and manufacturing processes.

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