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M'sian automotive components for Japanese market

Publication Date : 16-12-2013

 

Malaysia wants to expand its list of export items to Japan and is looking at automotive components as one of the goods that can be pushed to the fore.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamad said Malaysia’s main export to Japan was liquefied natural gas amounting to US$27 billion annually.

“We need to explore other goods that we can push into Japan’s market as we cannot be overly dependant on just one good one alone,” he told the Malaysian media.

He said that automotive components were worth looking at, adding that while Malaysia’s share of the export market was only worth 5 billion ringgit ($1.5 billion) now, the potential to grow was there.

Japan is Malaysia’s top investor, with 1,400 firms operating in the country and investments in the manufacturing sector alone has reached $22.2 billion.

Between January and November, the Malaysian government had approved investments worth 3.41 billion ringgit from Japanese firms.

Recent investments include Perodua Global Manufacturing Sdn Bhd worth 1.9 billion to set up highly automated assemblyline for energy efficient vehicles and 470 million ringgit by Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd to increase annual production capacity from 50,000 to 100,000 units, with at least 5 to 10 per cent of the production being hybrid vehicles.

Mustapa said there had also been an increasing trend in retail trade between the two countries, with the figures going up from 5.5 per cent in 2012 to 6.2 per cent this year.

On the second wave of the Look East Policy, Mustapa said three committees had been set up to spearhead LEP 2.0 – on strategic trade and investment. educational institutions and research and development as well as human capital development.

“We are committed to see the second wave of the LEP being as successful as the first one,” he said, adding that the first wave of the policy succeeded in educating some 15,000 Malaysians in Japanese universities.

This, he said, did not take into account those who were sent for attachment to Japanese corporations to learn their work culture and to attend training.

He added that the LEP 2.0 was set up to bring Malaysia’s relations with Japan to the next level, which is the advancement of trade with a higher value chain.

On Asean-Japan relations, Mustapa said the aim was to double trade from $260 billion per annum last year to $500 billion by 2022.

He said with the regional grouping to set up the Asean Economic Community in 2015, member countries were already including the region in their trade and investment promotions.

“We are looking at a single production base concept where a product is manufactured in one country to meet the market needs of the region’s 620 million population where the import tariff is zero.”

*US$1 = 3.23 ringgit

 

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