Malaysia's strong manufacturing base in semiconductors will make it easier for the country to shift to green technology, an international clean technology adviser said.
Dr William Kao, who is the adviser to China and Taiwan, said the country's strong manufacturing base in electrical and electronics (E&E) will help it evolve up the value chain, while availing itself to changing technologies, especially the green technology.
He also suggested Malaysia to tap on its natural resources such as wood and consider going into green construction.
"You (Malaysia) have many E&E manufacturing activities like light emitting diode, batteries and solar cells, and shifting from semiconductors to clean technology would be a natural progression," he told reporters at an electronics industry seminar organised by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) here yesterday. Also present was Mida chairman Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob.
Kao said although there is now an over-capacity for LED chips and solar panels, Malaysia should look at the bigger picture and make a strategic move into clean technology.
"Since other countries like China are currently impacted by the softening of demand for solar panels because they had a head-start, Malaysia has been feeling very little impact of this downturn and should be mindful that it's only cyclical and should look long term into this," he added.
Meanwhile, Sulaiman said based on project approvals by Mida for the E&E sector, electrical products constitute the leading sub-sector, replacing electronic components.
He noted that this is due to the significant investments approved in solar projects compared with previously.
Sulaiman said the influx of investments in solar projects is due in part to global awareness on the importance of green technology including renewable energy, despite the slower demand in the industry during the period.
He said Malaysia continues to focus on elevating the industry into higher-end activities through the strengthening and deepening of the E&E ecosystem by targeting front-end operations.
The day-long event also included a business/vendor networking session for technical and outsourcing opportunities.