More Japanese investments coming into Iskandar, says deputy minister

ISKANDAR PUTERI: There has been a significant growth in investments, especially from Japan, into the Iskandar region following the installation of the new government.

Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming said most investors from the Land of the Rising Sun had previously adopted a wait-and-see attitude, particularly to ascertain the Pakatan Harapan-led government’s direction.

“After seeing and understanding our direction, investors began to take interest; and I expect the total foreign investment, especially Japan, to rise because the new leadership line-up offers fresh ideas to develop the nation.

“Several start-ups from Japan have expanded their business on a small scale. However, after achieving maturity, they will be inclined to choose the Iskandar region as a location to boost their business,” he told the media after launching the Look East Policy Summit here today.

The event was organised jointly by Khazanah Nasional Bhd subsidiary i2M Ventures Sdn Bhd and the Alumni Look East Policy Society, which comprises former graduates of Japanese universities and technical colleges.

Ong noted Japan had long been Malaysia’s strategic partner and was the fourth largest trading partner last year.

“Last year, the bilateral trade between Malaysia and Japan grew by 14.7 per cent to RM138.5 billion. Exports from Malaysia to Japan increased by 17.5 per cent to RM74.9 billion, while total imports rose 11.6 per cent to RM63.6 billion,” he added.

Meanwhile, commenting on the summit, he said it was one way to rejuvenate the Look East Policy that was introduced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the 4th Malaysia Plan in 1982.

“We want to see new ideas that can be shared between Malaysia and Japan, as both countries have achieved rapid development during the last 36 years.

“The manufacturing sector remains the main focus in Malaysia, but we are also looking at other sectors such as technology, as well as the services sector and support and downstream industries,” he added.

Source: EdgeProp