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Japan keen to develop green industry in Sabah

Japan keen to develop green industry in Sabah

15 Nov 2023

Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Phoong Jin Zhe concluded his first official visit to Japan with a four-day intensive schedule of business meetings and inspections.

Several Japanese companies have expressed interest in investing in Sabah’s green industries, a key sector that Phoong has actively promoted.

This demonstrates Sabah’s potential and opportunities in the field of green industries.

During the visit, Phoong led a multi-agency delegation, including Datuk Thomas Logijin, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship; Datuk Jasmine Teo, Director of Sabah Economic Planning Unit (UPEN); Datuk Fredian Gan, CEO of Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Sabah Sdn Bhd; Datuk Harun Ismail, CEO of Sipitang Oil & Gas Development Corporation (SOGDC); Haizar Razif Hisyam, Group General Manager of Sabah Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO); Tseu Kei Yue, Director of Department of Industrial Development and Research (DIDR); Cecilia, Deputy CEO of Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) Sdn Bhd and Chan Loong Wei, Political Secretary to the minister.

Phoong revealed that in addition to business discussions with potential investors, a significant focus was participating in the 2023 Malaysia Fair in Tokyo organized by the Malaysian Embassy in Japan.

Seven Sabah-based companies, led by the Department of Industrial Development and Research (DIDR) under his ministry, showcased their products, successfully increasing the visibility of Sabah’s local products to the international market.

Upon arriving in Tokyo, Phoong initiated a series of tightly scheduled meetings, starting with visits to two major Japanese trade organizations: the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Japan-Malaysia Economic Association (JAMECA).

Both meetings involved bilateral discussions and trade collaborations.

Invest Sabah Berhad (ISB) also presented trade opportunities and investment potential in Sabah to Japanese officials during these meetings.

Phoong actively sought coordination with Japanese government trade organizations to encourage more Japanese companies to invest in Sabah, fostering trade relations and friendship. He extended invitations to Japanese companies to explore investment opportunities in Sabah.

According to the officials, Japanese companies have shown significant interest in Sabah, particularly in renewable energy, food processing, biomass industries, sustainable timber, and emerging green sectors.

The discussions received support and coordination from Izran Abdullah, Director of Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Tokyo.

In a cordial atmosphere, Phoong received verbal commitments for future collaboration, indicating that the Sabah government plans to organize a business forum in Japan with the assistance of the Malaysian and Japanese investment promotion agencies, opening more channels for Japanese companies to invest in Sabah.

The minister was welcomed by representatives of Sumitomo Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company.

Two subsidiaries of Sumitomo Corporation engaged with the Sabah government delegation, leading to two productive two-hour business meetings.

The first meeting focused on discussions with the head of raw materials and steel industries, Hisahide Kikkawa. They expressed interest in investing in Sabah and proposed establishing a Green Steel manufacturing factory using carbon emission reduction technologies aligned with global trends.

This aligns with Phoong’s push for the development of green industries.

The representative revealed their interest in the Sipitang Oil & Gas Industrial Park (SOGIP), and if successful, this project could bring over a billion ringgit in investment to Sabah.

The second meeting involved discussions with the head of the timber industry, Shuji Hayashida, exploring the potential of emerging markets. They aim to utilize advanced technology for biomass and reforestation to develop a high-tech green industry in Sabah.

Given Sabah’s favorable conditions for biomass industries, Phoong emphasized the importance of close coordination to facilitate Sumitomo’s investment in Sabah.

Source: Borneo Post