LOS ANGELES: US hard disk drive maker Western Digital expects to invest several hundred million dollars in the next two years to beef up operations in its three facilities in Malaysia, its president and chief executive officer Datuk John Coyne said on Tuesday.
The amount will be part of the US$4 billion (RM13.6 billion) capital expenditure allocated for the company’s Asian business over the next five years, he added.
“We will be spending several hundred million dollars over the course of next year to two years to increase both technology and capacity in all the three facilities,” Coyne said on the sidelines of the trade and investment mission to the US by the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority.
He added, however, that the investment would be based on Western Digital’s actual business needs, taking into account market development, economic policy and Malaysia’s competitiveness.
“We have invested US$2.25 billion (RM7.7 billion) in Malaysia. We are very happy and it is certainly our intention to grow and invest there over the next few years.
“We certainly hope we would invest similar to what we have already invested in the past,” he said.
According to Coyne, Western Digital earlier this year bought a building in the Sungei Way Free Trade Zone, just outside Kuala Lumpur, to be its main focus for regional expansion next year as it increases output.
“It will involve additional 3,000 to 5,000 jobs in the Kuala Lumpur area. We also have significant investment programmes in our Penang and Johor facilities.
“Although Malaysia in general has a broadly competitive set of incentives, complemented by a well-developed infrastructure and a stable and industry-positive government, some areas need improvement.
“The area that needs continuous improvement is education, particularly in the third level,” he said.
Coyne said there were opportunities to woo Malaysians who had studied and worked abroad to return and contribute towards technology development in Malaysia.