A FIVE-DAY Malaysian trade mission to Tokyo and Osaka managed to secure deals for investments and potential exports of products and services to JapanLed by Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, it was the first following the reopening of borders by Japan on April 29 since Covid-19 hit.
The mission was to intensify post-pandemic efforts of strengthening trade and resuming economic cooperation between Malaysia and Japan.
The mission held meetings and high-level engagements arranged by Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) with prominent Japanese companies, which have committed to increasing trade and sourcing for a diverse range of quality Malaysian products and services worth RM2.1bil.
The committed export deals are for energy, green and sustainable products, palm oil, wood products, chemicals and chemical products, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and halal as well as healthcare and digital services.
Some of the leading Japanese companies the mission engaged with were Itochu Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation and Mitsui & Co Ltd.
There was a meeting between Japan Petroleum Exploration Co Ltd (Japex) and PETRONAS, which discussed the expansion of the renewable energy business and the development of technologies related to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
The session highlighted the joint initiatives between the two organisations towards the commitment to the ESG agenda as well as the Carbon Neutrality mission by 2050.
Japex has committed to continue sourcing for LNG, energy and sustainable products from Malaysia.
Matrade also played a pivotal role in arranging a meeting with the largest homebuilder company based in Osaka, Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd.
During the mission, Matrade and Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) have also agreed to extend the memorandum of cooperation (MoC) for another year until April 5, 2024, acknowledging the initiatives and activities undertaken under the MoC that was signed in 2021.
The MoC is aimed at promoting trade, deepening mutual understanding and friendship as well as contributing to the trade development of both Japan and Malaysia, including in the areas such as halal services, ICT, ecommerce and digital transformation.
Matrade chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz said, “Japan, being our fourth-largest trading partner, remains Malaysia’s major market in Asia for Malaysian companies.
“As a result of Matrade’s proactive efforts in arranging high-level engagements with Japanese top general trading companies, the Trade and Investment Mission to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan has secured significant business partnerships and export opportunities,” he said.
“Matrade is focused on enhancing the engagements with major Japanese firms by connecting them with Malaysian capable exporters in order to drive exports to Japan.
“Apart from the committed export value reported during the mission, I am also glad to receive positive responses from the major Japanese trading houses to participate as buyers in the upcoming Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas), which will take place at Mitec, Kuala Lumpur from Sept 12 to 15,” added Mohd Mustafa.