Speaking at the ASEAN-South Korea Commemorative Summit here today, Dr Mahathir said among the most promising industries in Malaysia is Information Technology (IT) and new technologies.
“We may be behind many others but we intend to catch up.
“We need to educate from young where they are more familiar with the new values, new strategy of doing things and new kinds of businesses,” he told a full house session moderated by Yoon Sung Woon of Bain and Company.
The local partner of the global management firm also asked Dr Mahathir on policy changes brought about by the new government as well as the country’s transformation plans.
The premier said Malaysia has always been welcoming towards foreign countries and investors, and this is still relevant despite the change in the government.
However, he said, the government now is strict about combating corruption and does not accept any discrepancies in financial management.
“We still welcome foreign investors,” he said, adding that the fastest way to develop is by inviting foreign investment and acquiring technology.
The CEO Dialogue session, organised by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is held in conjunction with the two-day summit which begins today with a leaders’ welcoming dinner.
Later, the prime minister visited the Malaysian Pavilion at the Invest ASEAN Exhibition held in conjunction with the summit.
Malaysian exhibitors participating at this event are MIDA, MATRADE, Invest Selangor, Halal Development Corporation, Usaha Strategik Sdn Bhd (USSB), We Build Easy Sdn Bhd and Tourism Malaysia Seoul.
It is expected to receive 10,000 visitors.
Dr Mahathir was briefed by USSB, which produces biomass pellet from oil palm empty fruit bunch.
Its executive director Za’im Hadi Meskam said the prime minister was interested in how the local company developed the product.
USSB initially collaborated with a German company to acquire technology to produce energy pellets from biowaste but later switched to a technology partner from China.
“About 60 per cent of the technology was developed locally and our product is now used by an industrial boiler in Johor “ he said.