PETALING JAYA: The Arnott’s Group (TAG) is in discussions with the government about its expansion plans to Kuala Lumpur after it made the Malaysian capital its regional hub.
The city is chosen due to its strategic location as a natural springboard for expansion into Asia backed by the availability of skilled workers and supportive government policies, according to TAG.
“Malaysia has a pool of highly skilled workforce. We are able to source talent locally and work with researchers in local higher institutions.
“We are looking for talent in research and development, marketing, management, supply chain and more. Personally, I find Malaysia’s talent pool very encouraging for businesses,” TAG Asia managing director May Lim told StarBiz.
TAG is the maker of Australian and local brands such as Arnott’s, Prego, and Kimball. The multinational food manufacturer is targeting double-digit growth over the next five years in Asia. Its hub will have a centralised leadership team that is responsible for unifying operations across Asia to pursue its ambitious growth plans.
“The Asia hub is paramount to TAG’s future success. We are looking at a three-stage growth plan and Malaysia is at the top of the shortlisted locations to be the epicentre of the expansion,” the company said.,
TAG’s plans, which could start before the end of the year, would include an A$50mil (RM154.72mil) investment in a manufacturing hub and recruitment of over 200 workers in high valued and technology jobs.
“With Malaysia a leading halal hub, we intend to drive the halal certification for brands in our new manufacturing hub, which will be exported worldwide,” she added.
KL is a major transhipment base and provides easy access to a wide network of local suppliers who are closely connected to food producers across Asia, according to Lim.
“We can also drive strong economic outcomes by partnering and contracting local suppliers and food producers. We aim to create more high technology jobs through technology transfer, internships, and skills training programmes with local universities,” she said.
Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) CEO Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman said Malaysia is an emerging global food producer and a leader in the world’s halal industry.
“We are a haven for over 300 international food brands and processed food producers due to our strategic location in Asean, conducive investment climate, skilled and trained workforce, strong trade relations and cost advantages – possibly one of the easiest places for businesses to incorporate in the region.
“Mida will facilitate the extension of companies’ manufacturing arm into a supply chain hub that will seamlessly oversee and support their operations regionally,” he said.