Malaysia Ups PCB Exports; Praegitzer Opens Asian Outlet

Posted on June 24, 1998 
Filed Under AsiaBizTech, Julian

By Julian Matthews

June 24, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Malaysian exports of printed circuit boards rose 42.1 percent last year to 3.093 billion ringgit (about US$793 million), compared to 2.190 billion ringgit in 1996.

International Trade and Industry Minister Rafidah Aziz said recently , that Singapore was the country’s largest export market, with 37 percent share, followed by Japan (13.7 percent), Hong Kong (11.6 percent), and the United States and Taiwan at 11.2 percent each.

Rafidah said that her ministry had approved a total 53 projects for the manufacture of printed circuit boards, of which 32 were already in operation.

“Twelve of the companies are producing double-sided printed circuit boards and seven others are producing multi-layered boards,” she said.

Rafidah spoke at the opening of U.S. design and board-maker Praegitzer Industries Inc.’s first Asian facility at the Cheng industrial estate in Malacca.

She said the 51:49 joint- venture project between Praegitzer and Rebutasi Sdn. Bhd., a member of local conglomerate Lion Group, was a good example of flexible government policy in allowing foreigners to take up majority stakes in Malaysian companies.

“Such flexibility is given in cases where the foreign company can inject the required technology or market potential to enable the Malaysian company to gain access to new technology and benefit from the new partner’s marketing network,” she said.

Praegitzer chairman and CEO Robert Praegitzer said the company purchased its 51 percent stake for US$1.43 million, and plans to pump in an additional US$6 million to upgrade the 120,000 sq. ft. plant from two- layer board manufacturing to four and six layers by year’s end.

“About 10 percent of the plant’s current products are shipped to US. By year’s end we hope half will be shipped to the North America market. We are projecting about US$80 million in sales from this plant by mid- 1999, ” he said.

Headquartered in Dallas, Oregon, Praegitzer has six plants and 13 design centers in the United States and Israel, and employs about 2,000 people.

Its third quarter revenue of US$44.7 million ended March 31, 1998, was an increase of 17 percent over the same period of 1997, with revenue for fiscal 1997 totaling US$147.9 million. Praegitzer Design, a division of Praegitzer Industries, Inc. is the largest PCB design service bureau in the U.S., with an estimated 9.2 percent share of the market last year.

In Asia, Robert Praegitzer said the company was keen on making inroads into the PCB market in China and setting up a design center possibly in Singapore.

He said its primary reason for setting up base in Malaysia was its partnership with the Lion Group which owns and operates an established computer assembly and computer peripheral manufacturing operation here.

“Our partner will be assisting us in developing new markets in the region where we have no geographical presence,” he said.

Published in Asia BizTech, Jun 24, 1998

by Julian Matthews, Asia BizTech Correspondent

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