MALAYSIA has approved a total of RM1.87bil in new investment for automotive-related projects in the 21 months since January 2002, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said.
Of the amount, RM1.2bil went to projects involving the manufacture of automotive components and accessories, while RM672mil was for motor vehicle assembly and manufacturing projects.
Rafidah said both foreign and domestic investors had continued investing in the sector in view of Malaysia's expanding automotive market and its strategic location in the Asean free trade area.
She also said Malaysia's exports of automotive components, valued at RM598mil in the first nine months of this year, had already exceeded the total amount achieved for the whole of last year.
This reflects the fact that there are specialised parts and components for which Malaysia has developed its own competitiveness, she said at the opening of the Automechanika Asia exhibition in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Rafidah urged local manufacturers to upgrade their capabilities and pursue collaboration opportunities with global automotive suppliers to meet the requirements of the global market.
Malaysian components manufacturers must strategise in order to establish themselves in the global supply chain and remain competitive, she said.
On the automotive components trade show, which was being held for the first time in Malaysia, Rafidah said the organiser had made the right choice as Malaysia had nine automotive assemblers, four national car projects, three composite body sport car producers, and nine motorcycle manufacturers and assemblers.
The trade show, which will run until Saturday, is the third such event to be held in Asia.
The previous two exhibitions were held in Singapore. The show, organised by Messe Frankfurt and endorsed by Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade), features 115 exhibitors from 19 countries.
It is expected to attract 7,000 trade visitors from 22 countries.
The exhibition offers good export opportunities for many local and regional automotive players, said Gerhard Gladitsch, a member of Messe Frankfurt's board of management.
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