TAIPEI: Johor is going all out to strengthen bilateral relationship with the Taiwanese government to attract more investors into the state, timely with the latter’s new Southbound policy.
Johor Domestic Trade, Tourism and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said that Taiwan would be another area of focus for Johor to attract new investments.
“We already have existing Taiwanese investors operating their businesses in Johor for the past 25 years, which have seen an accumulative investments of US$1.5bil (RM6.72bil) from 353 investors.
“Many of them have ventured and succeeded in the manufacturing, petrochemical and fertilisation sectors,” he told reporters here during an official visit to Taiwan.
The new policy, initiated by President Tsai Ing-wen, aimed to enhance cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and 18 countries in South-East Asia, South Asia and Australasia.
Tee said the visit, which included the participation of Johor’s top officials from various relevant departments, targeted to strenghten bilateral relationship with their counterparts and potential investors.
“We will be meeting with various officials, government agencies and councils during the week-long visit here until Dec 24 to forge closer ties and extend our personal invitation to them to come to Johor.
“So far, the response has been welcoming and some of them have already shown interest in working together and find common grounds that would create a win-win situatiom for both parties,” he said.
Besides fostering better relationship with the government, Tee said that existing Taiwanese investors have also been roped in to boost potential investors’ confidence in Johor.
“We are encouraging the existing investors not only to expand their businesses but also to recommend Johor to others, as their success is prove of the state’s strategic location and efficiency,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) Friendship and Trade Centre Taipei (investment division) director Nurullydia Ahmad said Taiwan is Malaysia’s 6th largest trade partner.
“We recorded RM1.6bil in investments from Taiwan into Malaysia last year and as of August this year, we reached RM124mil,” she said, adding that investors were particularly keen on injecting money in Johor.
Taiwan External Trade Development Council executive vice-president Wang Hsi Mong said although Taiwan had suffered setback in terms of trading in the last two years, it still saw positive growth with Malaysia.
“From January to November this year, we recorded a downward trend of (negative) 3.1% in export growth. However, export to Malaysia saw a growth of 8% during this period and that is exceptional.
“Johor is one of the most important state in Malaysia, especially in view of its close proximity to Singapore. So we are definitely looking forward to working hand-in-hand with the state government and gain mutual benefit,” he said.
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