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Published: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 6:54:12 AM

Exciting times ahead with second wave of LEP

Light moment: Najib showing pictures to Japan-Malaysia Economic Association (Jameca) president Mikio Sasaki during the launch of the 32nd Conference of the Malaysia-Japan Economic Association and Jameca in Tokyo. — Bernama

Light moment: Najib showing pictures to Japan-Malaysia Economic Association (Jameca) president Mikio Sasaki during the launch of the 32nd Conference of the Malaysia-Japan Economic Association and Jameca in Tokyo. — Bernama

TOKYO: Malaysia and Japan are in for exciting times with the transformation of their economies and the further cementing of relations through the second wave of the Look East Policy (LEP).

While Malaysia’s transformation is underpinned by the New Economic Model, Japan’s Abenomics (economic policies advocated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) provides the necessary impetus for change.

For a long-standing co-operation, the LEP 2.0, as Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak calls it, both nations should look towards a future defined not just by exchange of knowledge but lasting economic collaboration.

“Let us work more closely together in the service of collective success,” said the Malaysian Prime Minister in his keynote address at the 32nd Japan-Malaysia Economic Association-Malaysia Japan Eco­nomic Association Conference yesterday.

Najib told the participants that Malaysia had benefited immeasurably from the LEP which was initiated in 1982.

“The years in which we turned to face the rising sun were some of the most productive in our history, with sustained growth and economic development,” he said.

Najib said the second wave of the policy would go beyond training and education, focusing more on economic programmes and business opportunities.

He said he had proposed that LEP 2.0 focuses on, among others, cutting-edge technologies with industry tie-ups to increase the flow of research and innovation from Japanese institutions.

Hi-tech skills development to accompany new technology should also be a priority, he said.

“We also need to give priority in managing eco-systems with safe, reliable and renewable energy, modernising small and medium enterprises as well as studying and implementing programmes to mitigate the coming challenges of an aging population,” he said.

He said Malaysia had already put in place the structure needed to implement the LEP 2.0 and stressed that it was the private sector that would drive success.

Japan is Malaysia’s third biggest trading partner with total trade amounting to US$47bil (RM152.1bil) last year. Japan is the largest investor since 1980s where last year alone, approved investments in manufacturing accounted for US$1bil (RM3.2bil).

“I encourage you to explore other areas of opportunity, including the halal industry, the development of Greater Kuala Lumpur and economic corridors,” he said.

Najib later performed Friday prayers with the Muslim community at the Tokyo mosque.

He and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor then joined Asean leaders to attend a tea ceremony hosted by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace.

In the evening, Najib and Rosmah were hosted to a dinner by Abe and wife Akie Abe.

Tags / Keywords: Government, najib, japan

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