28 November 2016, Kuala Lumpur –In keeping with the momentum following the Malaysian Prime Minister’s visit to Japan last week, YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) chaired a dialogue session with the Embassy of Japan, Japanese Chamber of Trade & Industry Malaysia (JACTIM) and Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO) at the MITI Tower today. Also present were Mr Yoshinori Kodama, Minister, Embassy of Japan; Mr Toshihiko Todokoro, President of JACTIM; and Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer of MIDA.
For the third year in a row, this event brought together stakeholders from both countries to discuss on current issues relating to doing business in Malaysia. At the dialogue, issues discussed include procedures and regulations on trade and investment, as well as Malaysia’s current status of the negotiations on free trade agreements.
Japan continues to be Malaysia’s top source of foreign direct investments in the manufacturing sector since 1980. As at 2015, a total of 2,602 manufacturing projects with participation from Japan were implemented with investments of RM85.0 billion and generated 342,837 job opportunities.
For the first 8 months of this year, MIDA approved 36 manufacturing projects from Japan with investments of RM1.05 billion. These projects will be located in Kelantan, Johor, Perak, Melaka, Selangor, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah and Penang. The investments approved in January – August 2016 will create additional 1,280 job opportunities for Malaysians. The bulk of these investments or 86% came from expansion and/or diversification activities of existing Japanese companies operating in the country. Among the companies are Rohm-Wako Electronic, Nippon Electric Glass, Cosmo Scientex and Polyplastics Asia Pacific.
Japanese companies have also been using Malaysia as a base for conducting their regional and global operations. This includes two recently approved Principal Hub projects from Sharp and Daikin – notable companies in the consumer electronics sector.
Daikin’s principal hub will involve R&D activities such as calibration, pressurised, psychometric and sound tests. This will improve Daikin Malaysia’s technology know-how and product quality. With this establishment, Daikin Malaysia will be the hub to manage the procurement and distribution activities in Malaysia, as well as Thailand and China. 78% of its employees will be getting a salary of more than RM5,000.
Sharp Electronic is expected to spend an average of RM3.5 million annually in local ancillary services. This will benefit local service providers including those in the logistics, banking and financial sectors. This establishment will create 28 additional job opportunities for Malaysians. Of which, 93% will be in the managerial/ supervisory and technical category.
MIDA continues to work closely with its Japanese counterparts in promoting business-to-business relations between Japan and Malaysia. During the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s visit to Japan earlier this month, Dato’ Sri Najib Razak and the Prime Minister of Japan, His Excellency Shinzo Abe witnessed the signing of a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) between MIDA and JETRO.
MIDA has had a close relationship with JETRO over the years, leveraging on each other’s experiences and excellent track record. In 2016 alone, both agencies successfully collaborated in organising events such as the Japan-Malaysia Invest Symposium, Seminar on Doing Business in Japan and the 34th JAMECA-MAJECA Joint Conference. In light of the upcoming 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries next year, the MoC is timely to reinforce MIDA and JETRO’s commitment to improve the enabling business environment and drive quality investments for both countries.