Strand to make M’sia engineering hub

KUALA LUMPUR: Strand Aerospace Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a pure play engineering services provider for Airbus planes, aims to develop Malaysia as a hub for high-value engineering services under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) by 2020.

Strand co-founder and chief operating officer Naguib Mohd Nor said on the sidelines of the ETP progress update yesterday that “pure play” referred to the use of people and computers for design and analysis work, as opposed to manufacturing, which is labour-intensive and lower in value chain.

Under the ETP, Strand will invest RM177mil in training and development to create high-value jobs in the Malaysian engineering sector.

Naguib, who previously worked with Airbus for 10 years in Britain, now operates the only Airbus-approved engineering service provider in Malaysia.

He set up Strand in 2006 and its first project was designing for the A380, the world’s largest airliner. It has also worked on the A320, which AirAsia uses, as well as military aircraft.

“We want to compete with India, which already has more than 12,000 workers in this industry. The market is forecast to be worth US$1 trillion in 2020 for engineering design services alone,” he said.

Strand’s mandate is two-fold. In the first phase, it has to reach a critical mass of 350 engineers by 2013 from 40 currently in a bid to attract the business of other global original equipment manufacturers and potential investors to park their money in Malaysian pure play engineering services.

In the second phase, it is envisaged that once the talent pool is in place, foreign direct investment will follow. “There are 20,000 Malaysian engineering graduates produced every year, thus we definitely have a market,” Naguib said.

Strand will work closely with Talent Corp to source for potential graduates. The project is targeted to achieve a gross national income impact of RM3.5bil and create 6,000 jobs by 2020.

Source: The Star Online

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