KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 (Bernama) -- To advance Malaysia's space and aviation industries, the government plans to tap the expertise of Florida in the United States.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis said these high-tech industries are crucial for the country's economic agenda and technological developments.
"We are exploring new initiatives in space, aviation, education and transportation which will fit the economic agenda and Florida has a strong presence in the aviation industry apart from space," he told reporters after a public lecture on "My Experience as an Astronaut" presented by Captain Winston E. Scott at the National Planetarium here Tuesday.
Florida, the world's gateway to space, is recognised internationally for space research and technological developments, and its space industry itself is estimated to be worth US$4.5 billion.
Jamaludin said the government is keen to develop the space and aviation industries, including the aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul sector.
"A delegation (from Florida) is here to create economic opportunities between Malaysia and Florida, especially in the space and aviation industries," he said.
"The government wants to go in a big way into space and aviation which are basically knowledge-based industries and they are vital for our economic, social and safety agenda," he added.
Citing an example, Jamaludin said the satellite technology would be useful in monitoring the nation's security and weather conditions as well as for communication purposes.
"It is important to monitor our borders as we have our offshore oil platforms and soon we will have our own tsunami warning system which will also be linked to space," he said.
"For Malaysia to move into the new world economy, we need to equip ourselves with these tools. They will help to create jobs and wealth for the nation," he added.