-A +A

SICPA steps up efforts to aid Asia Pacific Governments in fight against illicit trade

Cyberjaya, Malaysia, April 16, 2015
SICPA opens a new regional centre for the Asia Pacific region on April 16, 2015. The central location will allow for a more frequent and easier dialogue with local partners.
 
SICPA unveiled its new Asia Pacific regional centre in Cyberjaya Malaysia to enable more in-depth collaboration with regional governments and businesses in their fight against illicit trade. 
 
Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister at the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry officially opened the RM5 million SICPA Asia Pacific Centre in the presence of Dr. Rolf Lenz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Malaysia and Dato’ Sri Khazali Haji Ahmad, Director-General of the Royal Malaysian Customs, amongst others. 
 
One of only three SICPA centres around the world, the Asia Pacific centre will enable SICPA to provide effective customised solutions aimed at creating a more secure environment by securing tax revenues and protecting the integrity and value of products and brands.
 
“SICPA is investing in Malaysia because we recognise that proximity to the Asia Pacific market will promote more frequent and easier dialogue with local partners, as well as regional governments and other clients. This will ensure we fully understand your requirements and expectations in developing and delivering the best possible technology innovations to counter the ever-changing illicit markets of smuggling and counterfeiting activities,” said Philippe Amon, Chairman and CEO of SICPA when addressing partners at the opening ceremony. 
 
SICPA has been working through its long term Malaysian technology partner Lembah Sari Sdn Bhd to enable the Royal Malaysian Customs to combat the illicit trade of tobacco and imported alcohol in Malaysia. The 2014 Illicit Cigarette Study (ICS) by Nielsen showed that there has been a sharp 6.6 percentage point decline in the incidence of illegal cigarettes to 32.3 per cent, from a record high of 38.9 per cent last year. 
 
This was deemed the largest drop in the history of illegal cigarettes in Malaysia, proving the result of the concerted efforts of government and enforcement agencies, notably the Royal Malaysian Customs which has deployed SICPA technology.
 
In his address, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, welcomed the expansion of SICPA’s services in Malaysia stating that the nefarious activities of illegal traders and smugglers result in millions of ringgit lost from the Malaysian economy and SICPA has helped reduce illicit trade and contribute to the government’s revenue. 
 
“Malaysia would like to attract more companies such as SICPA to make Malaysia its base and in order to do so, we must be able to provide for their needs in terms of the skilled resources that these companies require.”
“Malaysia has a long history of ties with Swiss companies and SICPA has added to that base. The country can benefit from the introduction of new technologies and the transfer of knowledge which can enhance the skills and productivity of Malaysians.”  
 
SICPA’s Asia Pacific Centre will promote more frequent dialogue with local partners, regional governments and other clients to better understand their unique requirements and expectations. Its location in Malaysia places SICPA at the heart of the region to support development and delivery of the best possible technology innovations tailored for the local markets.
 
The regional centre in Malaysia stands out as a centre of excellence for the development of mobile apps for the global market. SICPA’s products authentication technology will be made available to the general public via mobile apps and will empower consumers in Asia Pacific to make smart choices. This technology is already available to the general public in Malaysia through a mobile app to distinguish the authenticity of imported alcohol. 
 
Alain Augsburger, General Manager of SICPA Product Security Sdn Bhd who heads up the Asia Pacific operations, said that in the past 6 months, SICPA has invested over RM5 million to develop this centre encompassing a new office, a test lab, servers, IT infrastructure and a coding centre. 
 
“Currently, we have a team of 35 highly skilled individuals based at this regional centre. Over the next 24 months, we plan to double both our staff strength and our investment to extend our engineering scope and the coding centre capacity. As we grow, we will continue to expand our capabilities and also create new job opportunities for Malaysians who want to make a difference.
 
“The centre will support SICPA Asia Pacific in terms of business development, coding, engineering, as well as, solutions deployment, and will engage in R&D and innovation projects specific to the region,” Augsburger said.
He added that the efforts of the Malaysian government and SICPA’s partner entities to provide an excellent environment to operate in was one of the key factors in choosing Malaysia as the base of the regional centre - in addition to  tax incentives, the cost effective ease of doing business, the availability of a skilled workforce and excellent infrastructure.  
 
The new centre crystallizes SICPA’s 11 year commitment in Malaysia, and comes in response to the growing demand for the company’s security solutions to combat illicit trade in Asia Pacific.  SICPA’s independent holistic security solutions are used on 75 billion products annually and have strengthened the ability of government partners to fulfil their policy commitments to protect their citizens.