Could you elaborate on the importance of GE’s Center of Excellence in Subang on the aviation industry and on the recently announced expansion plans?

GE has been focused on expanding its aviation business in Malaysia over the past year. In September 2018, our former chairman visited Malaysia and announced plans to expand our aviation business. We currently have a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility near Subang Airport, which provides overhaul services for CFM56 engines used in narrow-body jets. This facility serves around 40 airlines globally, making it a significant player in the aviation industry. To support the MRO of CFM LEAP engines, the latest and most efficient jet engines in the market, GE is investing USD 80 million in expansion plans for tooling, testing, and skills capabilities. These LEAP engines are used in popular narrow-body planes like the Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320neo, which have a substantial backlog of over 16,000 engines. The expansion of our MRO facility in Subang is crucial for maintaining these engines, and we take great pride in the talent and skills we have developed within Malaysia.

What role can GE play in fully unleashing the potential of Industry 4.0 in Malaysia?

GE plays a significant role in metal additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. Our direct metal laser and electron beam machines, supported by advanced software and services, make us a global leader in this field. Additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionize industries, and sectors such as aviation and healthcare are already benefiting from its advantages. By using additive manufacturing, manufacturers gain increased flexibility, choice, and design freedom to create innovative products and parts. GE’s investment in additive manufacturing has contributed to the efficiency of our LEAP engines. We are also actively engaged in big data and artificial intelligence (AI). Our remote monitoring and diagnostic centers in Kuala Lumpur connect approximately 1,500 assets, including power turbines and chemical plants, to analyze billions of data bits. With the help of AI and digital twins, we can identify potential issues and offer substantial cost savings to our customers.

How do you see GE’s role in powering the future of Malaysia?

GE plays a crucial role in power generation in Malaysia. Currently, 40% of the power generated in the country relies on GE equipment. We are involved in various power generation technologies, including gas-powered turbines, steam-powered turbines, hydro, solar, and wind. We can contribute to increasing the efficiency of power generation across the nation. Notably, we have ongoing projects utilizing our latest gas-powered turbines. For example, in Johor, we manufactured a 1,440MW gas-powered station for Tenaga Nasional, incorporating two of our most efficient gas turbines in the market, the 9HA turbines. As efficiency increases, the cost of electricity decreases, benefiting both businesses and consumers.

What are the most important requirements for Malaysia to maintain and further enhance its international competitiveness?

The Malaysian government’s focus on implementing its Industry 4.0 strategy is a step in the right direction. However, it is crucial for the government to move swiftly. Malaysia has a wealth of talent, and thanks to the policies of the new government, there is an increasing interest among Malaysians in the global talent pool to return to the country. To maintain and enhance its international competitiveness, Malaysia needs to continue nurturing its talent pool and creating an environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship. Additionally, investing in infrastructure, improving connectivity, and providing support for research and development are essential to foster a conducive business environment that attracts both local and foreign investors.

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