Dr Mohamed Mustafa was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd to embark on an institutional collaboration with the niche logistics service provider to provide industry relevance to graduates in Malaysia.

PKT also has presence in South Korea, Taiwan and most Asean countries.

“No single university, no matter how large or well-endowed, can address future challenges by itself.

“In this era of globalisation and interdependence, cooperative partnerships with industry is not an option, but a necessity,” he said at PKT’s One Logistic Hub in Shah Alam on Friday.

The tie-up will focus on sharing technical know-how between both organisations in areas such as academic staff attachments, consultancy, research and development, seminars and conferences to further equip graduates.

Dr Mohamed Mustafa said the signing symbolised a partnership which would lead to many new joint research initiatives that would produce new synergy and add academic value for both PKT and UUM in the years ahead.

UUM is one of the universities with expertise in business management, specifically in logistics and transportation. Its School of Technology Management & Logistics has continuously produced graduates in the logistics and transportation field since 2008.

PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd group chief executive and managing director Datuk Michael Tio said they would begin by setting up the first research centre in One Auto Hub, which is located in Batu Kawan, Penang.

Academics will be able to work in the university there, especially during their sabbatical.

“We see many areas for improvement and the best way of moving up the logistics value chain would be through this collaboration.

“This research centre will be a shared facility to be used by academicians and industry professionals to meet for research and data collection,” Tio said.

Tio, who is also adjunct professor at UUM, said there was immense potential for Malaysia to be a logistics hub for the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

“Students should be learning about how the logistics sector could meet the needs of Malaysia as a logistics hub for the AEC.

“With the experience acquired from our partners, including Mazda Logistics Japan, we would be sharing the know-how we have with the students as well,” Tio said.

Tio was recently appointed by the Education Ministry to the CEO Faculty Programme, a key project under the Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint designed to get Malaysian as well as foreign chief executive officers to commit time and effort to lecturing in institutions of higher learning in the country.

“The most critical aspect of this goal is having logisticians with the right knowledge, skills and experience.

“The institutions of higher learning will be able to produce the high number of logisticians required for this purpose, not just for Malaysia but for Asean as a whole,” Tio added.