Spanish firms to invest US$1.5bn in Malaysia

opinion June 13, 2012 00:00

By Leong Hung Yee
The Star

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Spanish companies have committed to invest some US$1.5 billion in Malaysia over the next few years, said Spanish Embassy commercial counsellor Luis Lopez.


“These are planned investments to be developed in the next five to six years. Currently, there are already a handful of Spanish technology companies in Malaysia,” he said.
Lopez said despite the banking crisis that was happening in Spain, its industrial-based companies were still “very strong”.
“Previously, they have been looking at the United States and Europe but now, they are coming to Asian countries and Malaysia is one of them,” he said, adding that Malaysia offered a competitive and affordable environment.
Lopez said Malaysian exports to Spain stood at $620 million (Bt24.52 billion) in 2011 while Spanish exports to this country stood at $320 million.
The Star recently reported that Spanish stainless steel producer Acerinox will continue with its investment in Bahru Stainless Sdn Bhd despite the financial crisis in the eurozone country.
Bahru Stainless chief executive officer Lucien Matthews was reported as saying the company had committed more than 2 billion ringgit (Bt19.9 billion) for its first two phases.
Other Spanish companies in Malaysia include sanitaryware maker Roca Corporacion and Dunlopillo Holdings Sdn Bhd.
Spanish rest-related product group Pikolin acquired 100 per cent of the mattress company from Sime Darby late last year, while Roca purchased Johnson Suisse several years ago.
“Yes, Pikolin has bought over Dunlopillo from Sime Darby in 2011. There are also other companies that have non-industrial investments. They may have commercial or representative offices, and often regional offices, here.
“The most interesting is Indra Technology Solutions, a world-class information technology leader for transport, e-government, health and defence applications,” Lopez said.
Although Indra Technology has just set up its office in Bangsar, the company had in 2010 been awarded a contract by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd for the installation of automatic fare collection system for the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT lines.
The 115.2 million ($36.38 million) contract was awarded to the consortium of IRIS Information Tech Systems Sdn Bhd and Indra Systemas SA.