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  • Interview with Ms Michelle Lim, General Manager of Reed Exhibitions � Singapore and Malaysia

Interview with Ms Michelle Lim, General Manager of Reed Exhibitions � Singapore and Malaysia

Sep 09, 2008

Preparations are now underway for GlobalTRONICS 2008, how will it compare to 2006?

Located in Singapore, which is well connected to many major cities in Asia, GlobalTRONICS serves as a gateway into the Southeast Asia markets. From past records, up to 70 percent of our overseas visitors came from Southeast Asia, attracted by the fact that GlobalTRONICS is the launch pad for new products and latest technologies. This year, we are expecting at least 38 percent of the exhibitors to showcase their latest products.

Over the years, GlobalTRONICS has established a strong foothold in Southeast Asia and is now seen as the �must-attend� event of the region.

Singapore is the location of choice for a regional event like GlobalTRONICS. With Singapore's Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with many countries and the Intellectual properties protection, Singapore is a viable location for R&D activities, high-end value-added production, as well as exports and imports.

Every two years, the industry congregates at GlobalTRONICS to catch up on new developments and to network with their industry friends. This year, the industry can expect to see 526 participating companies from 28 countries and 11,000 visitors from over 40 countries � over four days of highly effective business networking.

Records also show that 52 percent of the visitors who came to GlobalTRONICS 2006 were senior and middle management who make or have influence over purchasing decisions. We strive to bring in quality visitors to reward the efforts of our exhibitors and the team is now embarking on an aggressive visitor promotion campaign that includes a Hosted Buyer Program to bring in top buyers, specially-arranged factory visits to meet key visitors and an intensive PR campaign to strengthen awareness in all Southeast Asian markets.

At Reed Exhibitions, we take pride in fine-tuning and positioning our events to stay relevant to the industry/market needs. This year, new features are introduced, namely, 'Go Green' and 'Automotive'.

In line with EU's legislation for Lead-free and RoHS- and WEEE-compliant products, our 'Go Green' feature will showcase companies with Waste Management, Recycling and Energy Conservation capabilities � a relatively new area but with lots of attention from environmentalists.

The 'Automotive' feature is introduced this year in line with the first F1 night race in Singapore. Besides, more and more electronics components and parts can now be found in a vehicle, from radar, transmission electronics, emission control, in-engine electronics to wheel sensor.

New to GlobalTRONICS is a series of three technical workshops focusing on design and manufacturing issues and challenges faced by engineers, engineering managers, production/manufacturing managers, factory managers and other technical specialists.

GlobalTRONICS is successful in gathering leading-edge technologies from the entire electronics manufacturing supply chain. What challenges and opportunities do you see for electronics manufacturing in Asia, as its operation shifts to higher-end business, and what role will GlobalTRONICS play in this development?

With shorter make-to-market lead times, increasing demands from consumers for more creative products as well as pressure on price by end consumers, manufacturers are constantly challenged to find alternative solutions, while suppliers vie to outdo their competitors.

With that in mind, manufacturers are investing in R&D to find more creative ways to cut costs (such as eco-friendly ways to reduce waste management and recycling costs) as well as to be the first to introduce more innovative products to the market.

Singapore, with its highly educated workforce, is able to support the manufacturers' quest for innovation and creativity. On top of that, Singapore's strict regulations on Intellectual Property Rights, which serves to safeguard manufacturers, rubber stamps it as a choice location for R&D centers for many MNCs.

GlobalTRONICS the ideal platform for suppliers to showcase how they can help manufacturers achieve these cost-effective strategies, while simultaneously bringing new and creative ideas to improve manufacturers' products. Manufacturers and buyers, on the other hand, can take this opportunity to source alternative suppliers who can best fit their budgets. Most importantly, manufacturers, engineers and buyers are able to get hands-on experience and enjoy 'live' demos on the different equipment on show.

What characteristics do you feel are present in the different regional markets in the Southeast Asian market? And what are the different focuses of the trade shows held by Reed Exhibitions in Malaysia, Singapore and India?

GlobalTRONICS, NEPCON Malaysia and COMPONEX NEPCON India are part of the NEPCON series of electronics events organized by Reed Exhibitions, which owns 12 NEPCON events in eight countries. Catering specifically to suit each different regional market, every one of the NEPCON events has created a unique position for itself over the years.

In contrast to the shows in the NEPCON portfolio, GlobalTRONICS takes place every two years to bring international manufacturers/brands to regional buyers in the electronics design and manufacturing industry. GlobalTRONICS is not just another trade show, it also provides a prestigious educational platform where the industry can exchange ideas and share industry knowledge. Alongside the exhibition are seminars and workshops, namely, the Embedded Systems Seminar, e-Supply Chain Conference and a series of three technical workshops.

NEPCON Malaysia is the single, largest and most comprehensive event for Malaysia's electronics manufacturing industry. It is a key event for suppliers who are interested in entering the Malaysian market and expanding their business in Malaysia. On the other hand, COMPONEX NEPCON India is a new addition to the NEPCON family dedicated to the expanding South Asia market. The formidable partnership of COMPONEX and NEPCON provides the largest fair of its kind in the country and provides the gateway for international suppliers to reach out to the Indian market. We are very excited about this new event in our electronics platform.

NEPCON Malaysia 2008 is the biggest electronics manufacturing show in Malaysia and 60 percent of the exhibitors are new this year. What factors lead an expansion of this exhibition and what new market and technology trends are in the Malaysia and Penang areas?

This year's NEPCON Malaysia 2008 is the largest in its history; this can be attributed to the positive outlook in the economy and a stable government in Malaysia. Over the years, NEPCON Malaysia has successfully been established as the key platform for suppliers to venture into the Malaysian market. Returning customers are true testimonials for NEPCON Malaysia as an important platform to reinforce their presence in the market and to expand their market share in Malaysia.

We are heartened by the participation of many new companies this year, as they see our event as the gateway to enter the Malaysian market and to forge new alliances and partnerships. We constantly strive to bring new products, new suppliers and new elements to NEPCON Malaysia in order to make our event relevant to the electronics manufacturing industry. This year, for example, we launched two new pavilions namely Semiconductor Pavilion and Penang, Malaysia Pavilion, to cater to industry demand.

The electrical and electronics industry are Malaysia's leading industrial sectors, contributing significantly to the country's manufacturing output, exports and employment. NEPCON Malaysia seeks to contribute to the growth of this industry sector and the Malaysian economy by providing a platform for the industry to exchange ideas on how to achieve a higher level of competitiveness by reducing cost, while at the same time improving the quality of products and services.

You mention the positive outlook in the Malaysian economy, can you elaborate on this?

Confidence in the local electronics industry and local economy is further boosted by a recent statement released by the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), which indicates that all sectors registered growth in the first quarter of 2008. The Malaysian economy's strong performance was driven by the double-digit growth in domestic demand, through both private and public consumption, while investment activities remained resilient. The GDP growth was further supported by robust exports.

In fact, the manufacturing sectors added 6.9 percent in the first quarter, supported by expansion in both the export and domestic-oriented industries. The stronger performance in the manufacturing sector was driven by the increased domestic and regional demands for resource-based products, particularly petroleum and chemical products. The computer and parts segment within the electrical and electronic (E&E) industry, recorded a strong 17.4 percent growth, led by demand from non-US markets, especially Europe and Asia. Output from semiconductor products grew at a slower 0.3 percent.

Additionally, a statement forecast that Malaysia expects foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the manufacturing sector this year to exceed the previous record of RM33.4 billion in 2007, despite stiff competition, as Malaysia continues to ensure a cost competitive environment for business. According to the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA), some RM15.9 billion or about 70 percent of the total investments approved in the manufacturing sector were foreign investments during the first quarter of the year. The top five major sources of FDIs for the period were from Australia, Taiwan, the UK, Germany and the US.

The advanced electronics, solar energy, petrochemical, chemical and machinery and equipment industries have attracted investments from Japan, Germany, South Korea and the US.

A stable political environment also is being predicted: On the current political scenario, where five Malaysian states (Penang, Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Kelantan) are now under the Pakatan Rakyat Government, foreign investors are still keen on Malaysia, and FDIs have not been affected by the changes in the administration since the March election, as the present ruling government at the Federal and State levels have maintained the same commitment to the country's economic expansion and liberalization. Director-General of MIDA, Datuk R. Karunakaran reaffirmed the Federal Government's commitment, �The states under the new government are showing the same commitment to investors, as every state in the country is eager to maintain a good investment climate to attract investments.�

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