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Malaysia-Japan Business Dialogue in Tokyo

May 2019

On May 30, JETRO jointly convened the Malaysia-Japan Business Dialogue with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in Tokyo. It was joined from the Malaysian side by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohammad, Depty Foreign Minister Dato’ Marzuki Yahya, Malaysian Ambassador to Japan Dato’ Kennedy Jawan, MIDA CEO Dato’ Azman Mahmud and MDEC CSO Dato’ Fadzli Shah. Among Japanese participants were Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr. Makio Miyagawa and Senior Managing Director Mr.Tatsuhiko Takesada of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), as well as 21 Japanese companies active in Malaysia.

In his opening remarks, JETRO Chairman and CEO Nobuhiko Sasaki promised to contribute to promoting business through discussions between the public and private sectors, and strengthening the cooperative framework between the two countries toward improving the productivity of Malaysian SMEs and cultivating human resources for industries.

In his keynote address, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir stressed that he was determined to pursue the rule of law, eliminate corruption and further improve the business environment. In addition, he expressed his hope for Japanese investment to develop technologies of Malaysian SMEs and skills of local engineers, especially in the advanced technology, IT and digital fields.

The event was joined by 21 Japanese companies involved in a variety of fields such as finance, IT and digital industry, electricity and electronics, heavy industry and logistics. Companies individually presented to Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir on their projects in Malaysia and plans to expand business or take on new endeavors, and also conveyed requests toward the Malaysian government.

In response, the Prime Minister extended his appreciation to the Japanese companies for expanding business in Malaysia in such a wide variety of fields and his hope for them to use the country as a hub of manufacturing and services within ASEAN and expand exports. He emphasized that Malaysia is the most suitable destination for investment by companies aspiring to expand regional business because of its stability, English language proficiency, developed laws and support system for investors.

Bringing up electric vehicles as a specific field where Malaysia expects to draw investment from overseas, he expressed intention to not only protect the environment but also curb government expenditure on fuel subsidies.

MIDA CEO Dato’ Azman wrapped up the event by stating that Malaysia hopes for new investment from Japan in growing fields, particularly those of cutting-edge technologies and R&D, and that his organization will work together with MDEC to offer necessary assistance to Japanese companies.

Keynote address by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir