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Published: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 9:09:44 AM

Malaysian automotive components for Japanese market

TOKYO: Malaysia wants to expand its list of export items to Japan and is looking at automotive components as one of the goods that can be pushed to the fore.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamad said Malaysia’s main export to Japan was liquefied natural gas amounting to US$27bil (RM86.4bil) annually.

“We need to explore other goods that we can push into Japan’s market as we cannot be overly dependant on just one good one alone,” he told the Malaysian media.

He said that automotive components were worth looking at, adding that while Malaysia’s share of the export market was only worth RM5bil now, the potential to grow was there.

Japan is Malaysia’s top investor, with 1,400 firms operating in the country and investments in the manufacturing sector alone has reached US$22.2bil (RM71bil).

Between January and November, the Government had approved investments worth RM3.41bil from Japanese firms.

Recent investments include Perodua Global Manufacturing Sdn Bhd worth RM1.9bil to set up highly automated assemblyline for energy efficient vehicles and RM470mil by Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd to increase annual production capacity from 50,000 to 100,000 units, with at least 5% to 10% of the production being hybrid vehicles.

Mustapa said there had also been an increasing trend in retail trade between the two countries, with the figures going up from 5.5% in 2012 to 6.2% this year.

On the second wave of the Look East Policy, Mustapa said three committees had been set up to spearhead LEP 2.0 – on strategic trade and investment. educational institutions and research and development as well as human capital development.

“We are committed to see the second wave of the LEP being as successful as the first one,” he said, adding that the first wave of the policy succeeded in educating some 15,000 Malaysians in Japanese universities.

This, he said, did not take into account those who were sent for attachment to Japanese corporations to learn their work culture and to attend training.

He added that the LEP 2.0 was set up to bring Malaysia’s relations with Japan to the next level, which is the advancement of trade with a higher value chain.

On Asean-Japan relations, Mustapa said the aim was to double trade from US$260bil (RM832bil) per annum last year to US$500bil (RM1.6tril) by 2022.

He said with the regional grouping to set up the Asean Economic Community in 2015, member countries were already including the region in their trade and investment promotions.

“We are looking at a single production base concept where a product is manufactured in one country to meet the market needs of the region’s 620mil population where the import tariff is zero.”

Related story:

Najib rekindles ties with Japan

Tags / Keywords: Government, mustapa mohamed

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