Tengku Zafrul expects FDI from Japan to exceed RM143b this year

THE Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) expects foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan to exceed US$30 bil (RM143 bil) this year, buoyed by continuous support from Japanese companies.

MITI Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, said the private sectors in both countries have expressed their confidence in business prospects this year, although the global trade environment is experiencing a slowdown.

“When we look at the local and global economy, we hope that the (Malaysia-Japan trade) growth will continue, but we still have to see (the progress because there are) too many uncertainties now in global trade.

“However, investment is a separate issue. I think (for) investment, we are optimistic,” he told reporters after officiating at the Malaysia-Japan Economic Dialogue in Kuala Lumpur today.

Earlier in his speech, Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia truly values the close and robust economic linkages with Japan, which has been one of Malaysia’s important economic partners for the last couple of decades.

In fact, he said Japan has been Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner for eight successive years since 2015 and, in 2022, trade with Japan made up 6.4% of Malaysia’s total trade at US$41.26 bil (RM181.73 bil) amid the backdrop of a challenging global environment.

He noted that, as of June 2023, a total of 2,778 projects by Japanese companies were implemented in Malaysia, with investments amounting to US$27.25 bil (RM91.89 bil), creating a total of 337,758 job opportunities.

“It is encouraging to note the continuous appetite from Japanese investors towards Malaysia as we continue to welcome more and more FDIs from Japan,” he said.

At the event, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a joint crediting mechanism was signed between the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM).

FMM president Soh Thian Lai said the MOU is aimed at facilitating small and medium enterprises and large entities from both countries to be more competitive on the global front, including providing market access to the respective destinations.

“Last year, we achieved about US$40 bil of trade (with Japan), but this year, we are hoping it will increase further by more than 10 to 20%.

“With this MOU, we can have more direct business-to-business communications and more exports from Malaysia, while at the same time, Japan can also export to Malaysia.” – Oct 25, 2023

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