Malaysia is looking to explore further cooperation with Korea in the automotive sector, in view of the National Automotive Policy 2019 (NAP 2019).
The first of the three phases of NAP 2019 will focus on the improvement of policies to infuse with new technologies, including in terms of human capital and its competency, the Malaysian PM stated at a roundtable meeting with South Korean captains of the industry recently.
South Korea was commended by the PM for the tremendous progress they’ve made in the industry. The PM tried the hydrogen car and reported that it performed very well, and specifically how quiet it is.
The roundtable gathered captains of industry from 29 companies, led by the Minister of Korean Trade, Industry and Energy Minister.
Malaysia’s PM stated that the country would like to see investments in high-tech manufacturing and has always been open to foreign investments regardless of geographic origins and sectors.
However, it has to be more discerning in the kinds of industries it would like to nurture now, in contrast to the past when it was satisfied with any kind of investment, he said.
Currently, Malaysia is looking for further investments in high-tech manufacturing; particularly, fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0) technologies, renewable energy such as solar and wind, and services that create respectable-paying jobs.
This is a sign of the maturing Malaysian economy that is on the cusp of breaking into the ranks of high-income nations.
Furthermore, the new reformed initiatives being made under the government mean shifting away from government-driven growth towards private sector-driven growth.
As part of the initiative to strengthen its financial position and increase the role of the private sector in the economy, the Malaysian government intends to divest its holdings away from various non-core and non-strategic companies, the PM explained.
The Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir said that South Korean companies may want to consider Malaysia seriously as part of its preferred investment destination to circumvent or mitigate the effect of the trade war.
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Competitiveness Index, Malaysia is ranked 25th in terms of its high-quality manufacturing and IR 4.0 readiness.
On top of this, Malaysia offers trained workforce with high English proficiency, a peaceful stable polyglot society, ready access to the whole of ASEAN, open economy, investor-friendly environment, strong protection of intellectual property rights and patents as well as superb rail, road, port and Internet infrastructure.
Malaysia plays host to large Korean companies as well as its small and medium-sized enterprises.
Currently, South Korea ranks as the fifth-largest foreign investor in Malaysia. As of 2018, a total of 376 manufacturing projects with South Korean participation have been implemented with total investment worth RM25.89 billion.
During the roundtable, the Malaysian PM was accompanied by the nation’s Foreign Affairs Minister; the Communication and Multimedia Minister; the Water, Land and Natural Resources Minster; the Health Minister; and the International Trade and Industry Minister.
Boosting Ties with Korea
OpenGov Asia reported earlier that Malaysia has also expressed interest in South Korea’s progress and developments in the aerospace industry.
Malaysia is currently considering its options pertaining to LCAs and may formally launch a procurement effort to enable its air force to keep up with advanced technology and capability. The LCAs will likely serve several roles in the RMAF, including as LCA and lead-in fighter trainers.
Malaysia stated will continue to court and welcome foreign investors in the hi-tech industries, artificial intelligence and other IR4.0 technologies.