A vibrant and dynamic scene was witnessed in Seoul from 14-17 March 2023, as Malaysia’s Trade and Investment Mission (TIM) to the Republic of Korea (ROK) unfolded. Led by YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), this mission was the Malaysian government’s prime endeavor to intensify the bilateral trade and investment bond between Malaysia and ROK, across diverse areas and sectors.
The Malaysian delegation comprised high-level officials from MITI, MIDA, MATRADE, and various Investment Promotion Agencies, as well as representatives from regional development corridors and Malaysian companies.
The TIM proved to be a success, with RM24 billion worth of potential investments secured for the country. This achievement is a testament to Malaysia’s continuous efforts in attracting quality investment and enhancing the participation of local companies in high-value global supply chains. Among the new investment projects are COWAY, Samsung Engineering, SKC, Lotte Fine Chemicals and a consortium comprising of Korean companies. Additionally, expansion projects by Lotte Energy Materials and POSCO Holdings have expressed their commitment to not only injecting new investments in Malaysia but also to ensuring the transfer of new technology and generating high-value job opportunities for Malaysians.
The TIM to the ROK was not only an event of grandeur but also a productive and rewarding one. A key highlight of the mission was the “Malaysia: Your Profit Centre in Asia” seminar, which was attended by over 250 distinguished business leaders from both Malaysia and the ROK. The delegation also held more than 150 individual business meetings with Korean companies, and the event featured a range of programmes, including seminars, bilateral meetings, business matchings for Korean and Malaysian companies and high-level one-to-one meetings with potential Korean investors from various sectors such as Electrical and Electronics (E&E), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Metal, Hydrogen and; Chemical and Chemical Products.
YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Minister of MITI, in his keynote emphasized, “Republic of Korea holds a special place in our hearts particularly as we mark the 40th anniversary of the Look East Policy between Malaysia and Republic of Korea this year. Our strategic collaboration with ROK through the LEP over the last 40 years, has made the ROK among Malaysia’s top 10 major investors for many years. While our economic relationship may be heavy on the semiconductor and electronics industry as well as petrochemicals, I am happy to note that this is diversifying and expanding into new and exciting areas of growth.”
In 2022, MIDA announced approved investments in various economic sectors totalling RM264.6 billion (USD59.9 billion). Of this amount, a total of 15 projects (manufacturing and services under MIDA) with Korean participation have been approved with total investment worth USD1.42 billion. These projects generated potential employment for 1,389 people and the ROK is now ranked as the 7th largest foreign investor in terms of approved investments for 2022.
The success of the TIM to the ROK marks an important milestone in Malaysia’s journey towards achieving sustained economic growth and a prosperous future for the country and rakyat.