Technical tie-up with Japan likely to entice MNCs here

ANY technical tie-up with Japan is likely to shore up our technical and human resource capability but also attract more multinational corporations (MNCs) into the country, a noted economist said.

Senior Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research Dr Shankaran Nambiar told FocusM that it might be the panacea of Malaysia in moving the value chain to be a fully developed country.

He was commenting on Japan’s ambassador Takahashi Katsuhiko who said that Malaysia has the potential to become a regional hub for vocational and technical training to people of other countries in this region adding that Japan is keen to work with Malaysia to strengthen the country’s capacity building under the Look East Policy (LEP) framework.

Nambiar said that Malaysia is being held back from further industrial development because there is a shortage of skilled labour. This can be overcome through technical and vocational training since japan is at the cutting edge of technology, they are the best people who can train our workforce, he added.

He further noted Malaysia cannot continue to be a country that supplies low-cost, unskilled labour adding that to move up the value chain it needs more highly skilled talent and that can come through vocational and technical training.

“Once established Malaysia can be a tech training hub for southeast Asia.”

Another economist in a bank-based broking house said that with a pool of talented workforce in Malaysia, more MNCs are likely to use Malaysia as the manufacturing base before exporting goods from here to the Asean region.

In addition, he said that with enhanced technical standards and standardisation of standards in products for the region, the better quality of products can accrue to people within the region.

According to him, this would be a quick way for Malaysia to move up the value chain and move out of the middle-income trap that it was mired in for a long time.

Meanwhile, Takahashi said that Malaysia has now become so developed compared to 40 years ago when the LEP started.

So, one thing we want to work together on is to use the vocational training institutions here to provide training not only for Malaysians but also people from other countries.

He said that after 40 years of success, it is time for both parties to explore new approaches for further extending the LEP and its benefits. Malaysia’s then-fourth prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad introduced LEP in 1982, and it has remained the cornerstone of Malaysia-Japan relations ever since.

Furthermore, about 26,000 Malaysians who sought to imitate the Japanese work culture and technological expertise to develop the country benefited from the policy. — Dec 17, 2022


Main photo credit: The Japan Times

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