TOKYO: Japanese firms have confirmed investing RM3.8bil in Malaysia in various sectors between this year and 2012, reflecting Tokyo’s continuing faith in Malaysia as a top-notch investment destination in the region, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday.
Over the long-term, between 2013 and 2015, they will invest to the tune of RM5.22bil in projects related to electrical and electronics, metallic, biomass and subtrates used in the making of hard-disk drives, he said.
The long-term investments include Tokuyama Corporation of Japan’s project in Bintulu, Sarawak, which manufactures polysilicon, a material used to make solar cells and electronics.
The plant’s first phase, comprising investments of RM3.7bil, will be completed in 2013.
Najib, who is Finance Minister, also held a meeting with Japan’s Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto as well as discussions with captains of industry from the Japan-Malaysia Economic Association (Jameca).
He also delivered a keynote address at the 17th Nikkei International Conference.
Najib said Matsumoto had urged Malaysia to consider Japanese companies for investment in infrastructure projects, including the Mass Rapid Transit system and other opportunities arising from the Economic Transformation Programme.
Matsumoto had also expressed Tokyo’s appreciation for Malaysia’s move to cancel the travel advisory issued following the nuclear tragedy after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Malaysia was then concerned over radioactive contamination of Japanese food imports.
Henceforth, to facilitate imports from Japan, especially food products, Najib said Malaysia decided that a certificate of origin would suffice which means there was no need to check every cargo imported into Malaysia.
Matsumoto had also expressed Tokyo’s support for the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology which would be operational in September. He confirmed that a special loan would be given by the Japanese government to ensure the project’s success.
Najib said initially, six lecturers would start giving lessons on Japanese-style engineering technology with the number increased to 40 eventually.
He said Malaysia could act as intermediary for Japanese companies to invest in the Middle East. That aside, Islamic financing could also be a diversified source of funding for non-Muslim countries such as Japan.
Source : The Star