Tengku Zafrul: Malaysia-Japan trade set to rise this year

TOKYO — Malaysia’s trade with Japan is expected to increase this year, bolstered by investments particularly in the semiconductor and renewable energy sectors, said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

“Last year trade with Japan stood at around RM35 billion. One third of this involves liquefied natural gas,” he told Malaysian reporters here.

Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia has been providing Japan with a secure supply of energy and is now focusing on renewable energy.

Japan has been Malaysia’s fourth-largest trading partner for nine consecutive years.

During Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s working visit to Japan from May 22 to 24, 2024, Malaysia secured RM1.45 billion in potential investments and RM550 million in potential exports from meetings with Japanese companies.

The meetings involved six companies already present in Malaysia and one company looking to invest in the country.

Tengku Zafrul said one of the companies planning to invest in Malaysia is from the semiconductor industry. The company’s name will be announced later pending necessary approvals.

The other companies expressed intentions to commit to new investments in Malaysia, particularly in new and renewable energies, with interest in Sabah and Sarawak.

“Investments in renewable energy could reach RM40 to RM50 billion over a ten-year period.

“Many companies in the electrical and electronics products, especially the semiconductor industry, want green energy supplies and see potential in Sarawak,” he said.

He also mentioned that the government received tax incentive requests from Japanese companies and will conduct a cost-benefit analysis before deciding on any incentives for the sectors.

“These are new sectors so they need support in terms of subsidies and tax incentives. The government will carry out a cost-benefit analysis before deciding on any incentives for the sectors,” he added.

As of 2023, a total of 2,810 manufacturing projects with Japanese participation have been implemented, with total investments valued at RM102.11 billion (US$29.67 billion), creating 344,120 job opportunities. — BERNAMA