Japan optimistic on prospects of stronger economic relations with Malaysia
14 Dec 2020
Japan and Malaysia are poised for a stronger economic relations in the future, said Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, Hiroshi Oka.
He said Japan was the fourth largest trading partner of Malaysia last year and was the largest source of foreign direct investment to Malaysia, accounting for one-third of total investments.
“So there is solid basis for business relations between Japan and Malaysia.
“There are good prospects that this good relations would be further strengthened,” he told a press conference after witnessing the signing of memorandum of understanding between SIRIM Bhd and Hitachi Asia (M) Sdn Bhd held virtually today.
On prospects, Oka said Malaysia was in a good position to attract foreign companies, including Japanese companies, to expand their supply chain base into the country.
He said in view of Covid-19 pandemic, the supply chain needed to be strengthened and one of the ways was through diversification of production base.
“Rather than concentrate on one place, we need to diversify the production base in order to make the overall supply chain less vulnerable to unexpected outside crises,” he added.
Oka said the world’s newest multilateral trade deal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, would provide an integrated market to the participating nations and Malaysia had the competitive advantage in the ecosystem.
“Although it is going to be a competitive market, I’m sure given the prowess of Malaysia’s economy, Malaysia will continue to be the regional economic hub by producing high-end products (and) by introducing digital technologies in the manufacturing process,” he said.
He also said the MoU inked today would enable Malaysian SMEs to have access to the expertise, including on how the technology would be utilised and how to put it in place to enhance the productivity of the Malaysian economy.
This would strengthen Malaysia’s competitiveness in the region, Oka said.
“I’m very much optimistic about the future prospects of Malaysia-Japan economic relations,” he added.
In October 2020, exports of manufactured goods to Japan increased by 6.9 per cent year-on-year to RM4.04 billion, mainly on higher exports of rubber products, petroleum products, as well as electrical and electronics products.