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Japan – Malaysia Investment Symposium in Kuala Lumpur

March 2016

On March 15, JETRO hosted a symposium to promote bilateral trade and investment between Malaysia and Japan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with Abdul Fatah Mohamed Rafaie, Deputy Director of Domestic Investment Division MIDA, and Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr. Makio Miyagawa taking the podium. For Malaysia, this is the first large scale symposium to promote investment into Japan. With 278 participants from Malaysian companies and organizations concerned, JETRO sent out a message conveying the attraction of Japan as an investment destination and helped make the business opportunities available in Japan known on a broad scale.

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Promoting Japan as an investment destination

JETRO Chairman and CEO Hiroyuki Ishige delivered a keynote speech and underlined the heightened attraction of Japan’s business environment thanks to Abenomics, referring to a virtuous economic cycle, deregulation, structural reform and lowered business costs. He shed light on the fact that the potentiality of investing in Japan, especially in tourism, had been increasing for Malaysian enterprises, by sharing the fact that the number of tourists from Malaysia to Japan had recently increased by 1.5 times following Japan’s decision to exempt Malaysian tourists from the requirement to acquire a visa. Minister for International Trade and Industry Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed referred to the Halal business in Japan which is drawing attention in the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. He also expressed his commitment in promoting mutual investment between the two countries, saying “I would like to push our efforts toward further advancement of mutual investment in collaboration with our vigorous supporter, JETRO.”

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Malaysian companies in Japan and Japanese companies in Malaysia share their experiences

During a session on Malaysian companies which successfully established a presence in the Japanese market, speakers from three Malaysian companies who received support from JETRO for their entry into Japan took to the podium. Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Dr. Anthony Francis Fernandes, the CEO of the world-famous LCC AirAsia Group, called Japan “an enormous and important market” in his presentation. He expressed his commitment to extend airline routes to Japan by strategically tapping into the increasing stream of tourists from around the world, citing the attraction of Japan found in its people, culture and cuisine. Y. Bhg. Dato’ Sri Koh Yock Heng, Managing Director of Apple Group, which has been expanding its travel agencies in Japan, underlined the fact that the number of tourists from Malaysia to Japan surged due to Japan’s visa exemption measures and launch of AirAsia. Y. Bhg Tuan Hj. Abdul Hamid Hamat, President of Harq Food Industry Sdn. Bhd., which has been expanding Halal restaurants in Japan, shared his experience in opening the restaurant Wadihana in Uzumasa, Kyoto this January. He said doing business in Japan was not an easy task but he managed to succeed thanks to the support from JETRO. Fukuo Tsubouchi, Director of Kaneka (Mlaysia) Sdn. Bhd. spoke on behalf of Japanese companies which successfully established a presence in Malaysia and in his speech he referred to the advantage that investment in Malaysia offers, such as well-prepared infrastructure and competitive labor costs.

Networking and consultation

In the reception held after the seminar, participants actively exchanged information. JETRO set up a consultation booth in the reception room to respond to on-the-spot inquiries from guests.

Outline of Japan-Malaysia Investment Symposium
Date and time March 15 (Tue), 2016    9:30-13:30
Venue Sapphire Room, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Organizer Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Co-organizer Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysia
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE),
Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)
Supporters Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan,
Embassy of Japan in Malaysia
Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA)
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM)
ASEAN Business Advisory Council, Malaysia (ASEAN-BAC)
ASEAN Business Club (ABC)
Japanese Chamber of Trade & Industry, Malaysia (JACTIM)
Attendees 278 people (Malaysian companies, organizations and press)
Program [ Invest in Japan Seminar ]
Opening Remarks: Dr. Makio Miyagawa,
                             Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia
Keynote Speech 1: Hiroyuki Ishige, JETRO Chairman and CEO
Keynote Speech 2: Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed,
                             Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
Guest Speech: Abdul Fatah Mohamed Rafaie
                      Deputy Director, Domestic Investment Division, MIDA
Guest Speech: Mdm. Aureen Jean Nonis
                       Senior Director, Market & International Partnership Division, MATRADE
                       Presentations by Malaysian companies
Y. Bhg. Tan Sri Dr. Anthony Francis Fernandes Group CEO, AirAsia Bhd.
Y. Bhg Dato’ Sri Koh Yock Heng Group Managing Director, Apple Group of Company
Y. Bhg Tuan Hj. Abdul Hamid Hamat President, Harq Food Industry Sdn. Bhd.
Presentation by Japanese company located in Malaysia: Fukuo Tsubouchi
Managing Director, Kaneka (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
Closing remarks: Akira Kajita, Managing Director, JETRO Kuala Lumpur
Networking reception