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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): IBI Urban Tech Sdn Bhd, a firm owned by Green Packet Bhd chief executive officer Puan Chan Cheong (CC Puan), has inked an agreement with China-based Orient Excellent (ZUHAI) Asset Management Co Ltd to jointly develop an Asia Semiconductor Hub in Kedah.

In a statement today, IBI said the development in Kulim is strategically located in the northern Malaysia corridor for the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector, which includes Penang's Bayan Lepas free trade zone and Batu Kawan Science Park as well as Kedah's Kulim Hi-Tech Park.

It said the 6,482-acre facility is designed to meet the needs of both global companies while perfectly positioned to also support local Malaysian businesses including small and medium enterprises.

"We identified Kulim as the potential site to develop the proposed Asia Semiconductor Hub due to its close proximity to land, sea, and air connectivity, which will attract multinational and domestic companies to set up operations," said CC Puan.

"In addition, its proximity to the country's first high technology centre, the Kulim Hi-Tech Park, where the sole large-scale wafer fabrication Silterra is located, is a tremendous pull factor," he said.

A memorandum of understanding was signed during the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce's 10th Malaysia China Entrepreneurs Conference today.

As a serial entrepreneur, CC Puan has been involved with IBI in numerous foreign investments in China worth over one billion yuan in total, said IBI.

The company added that it is now pivoting into urban technological developments within large-scale tech parks, domestic and foreign technology companies, healthcare and wellness.

The development is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2021 (2Q21), with the first phase of construction expected to complete in 3Q22.

The facility, the company said, will primarily focus on leveraging existing capacity and production while also developing the future state in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), future automation, internet of things (IoT), 5G, augmented and virtual reality, supercomputing, robotics as well as silicon carbide and gallium nitride.

"The Asia Semiconductor Hub offers a great opportunity for mainland Chinese firms in the E&E sector to source for critical components, devices and service packages that can meet the growing demand for modern electronics products, including the fast-growing [AI] and [IoT] segments, and this is only made possible with a critical semiconductor anchor within the value chain," said an Orient Excellent representative.