Look East Policy helped Malaysia to industrialise: Azmin
11 Aug 2022
The Look East Policy (LEP), which has existed for 40 years since 1982, has helped Malaysia to transform from an agicultural country into an industralised one, said Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
He said the LEP, which has continued as LEP 2.0 since 2013, will drive Malaysia’s development to a higher level on the application of new technology such as digitalisation, robotics artificial intelligence (AI), and others.
Apart from that, to ensure sustainable development in the country, Malaysia has formulated its policies in accordance with the Environmal, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda, he added.
“We (Malaysia and Japan) will focus on deepening our economic integration. This is important thing for Malaysia being a small economy and as a trading nation, we need to trade with every part of the world.
“That was also among the reasons why we expedited the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) early this year.
“Now our local players, namely the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), have bigger access and have the capacity and capability to compete on the global stage,“ he told the media after delivering his remarks at a business seminar in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the LEP today.
The minister said the seminar, organised by his ministry, aims to provide a platform for the government sector and the business community to engage productively, share best practices and continue to come up with the most effective economic and commercial responses as well as counter-measures in times of crisis and other contingencies.
Mohamed Azmin said Malaysia is in the midst of formulating a set of standard ESG guidelines for SMEs in the country, involving the input of developed countries like Japan, the US, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
“The IPEF has also agreed with Malaysia’s suggestion that development, capacity building and techical assistance be given priority.
“This is to ensure that the automation and digitalisation gap can be narrowed and carbons emissions reduced among the industries, including SMEs when the IPEF is implemented,” the minister said.
“Apart from that, we have also introduced many incentives so that SMEs can quickly migrate to the use of green technology, and we will continue with this efforts so that we can achieve the objective before 2050,” he added.
The LEP was first introduced on Feb 8, 1982, by then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed who strongly believed that the examplary work ethics of Japanese workers could be emulated by Malaysian workers towards becoming an industrialised nation.