Malaysian auto vendors see great potential to collaborate with Japanese counterparts

08 Mar 2017

Mie Prefecture, Japan, 8 March: Malaysian auto vendors see great potential in partnering with their Japanese counterparts to tap the growing ASEAN Economic Community market.

A total of 44 Japanese automotive vendors and trading companies attended a business matchmaking session with 25 Malaysian automotive vendors held in Tsu City, Mei Prefecture yesterday.  The event was hosted by Hyakugo Bank of Japan.

“Southeast Asia is, with the launch of ASEAN Economic Community, a very attractive market for Japanese companies, and for Malaysian companies, partnership with Japanese companies with the most advanced technology is said to be one of the important factor(s) for overcoming competition,” Mr Toshiyasu Ito, President of Hyakugo Bank said at the opening of the business matchmaking session.

The event which was organised by the Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI), assisted by the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Japan Trade Organisation (JETRO) and supported by Perodua.

The potential collaboration between these companies include strategic partnership and/ or technical assistance in the areas of plastic parts, metal parts, tools, electrical parts and after-market parts.

The event was also attended by Hyakugo Bank’s Chairman Mr Tsuyoshi Ueda, Perodua President and Chief Executive Officer Datuk (Dr) Aminar Rashid Salleh, MAI’s Chief Operating Officer, Encik Nizma Mohd Nazar and MIDA Director, Tokyo office, Encik Zahirul Ishak.

“Today’s event is a testimony of the strong bilateral economic relationship between Malaysia and Japan.” 

“It is intended among others as a platform for our vendors to identify suitable and potential joint ventures with Japanese automotive companies; as well as help to promote strategic alliances in various business areas, including technology collaboration, business expansion opportunity, export market penetration and knowledge sharing,” Nizma said.

He said that Japan has long been a close trading partner to Malaysia.  In terms of trade of automotive products, Japan was Malaysia’s second largest trading partner, with two-way trade amounting to RM6.8 billion in 2015. 

“Malaysia’s exports of automotive parts and components to Japan last year recorded an increase of 27 per cent to RM301.5 million from RM237.5 million in 2014. Look at Perodua, and that is a testament to what a Japan-Malaysia partnership can do,” Nizma said.

Datuk Aminar said that this event is rather historic moment for the Malaysian automotive industry in general and for Perodua in particular, as all the 25 Malaysian vendors participating are the best in their respective fields and are now on the verge or going regional, if not global.

“These 25 Perodua vendors were vetted carefully based on their dedication towards improving quality, discipline and productivity while at the same time committed towards better cost management,” he said.

Datuk Aminar said that this business matching session is also a continuation of the “Look East” Policy, which began in 1981 as well as an opportunity to take advantage of the free trade agreement between Malaysia and Japan.

“I believe that there are a lot of areas where collaborations are possible whereby both parties can complement each other to take advantage of the potential growth in the Southeast Asia nations or ASEAN and beyond,” he said.

He further explained that aside from the economic potential growth in the ASEAN region, Malaysia also has a lot of potential as the country’s economic growth is expected to grow between 4.5% and 4.7% in 2017.

“Malaysia is a Japanese-friendly country with over 30,000 Japanese citizens living and working there. There are also over 3,000 Japanese related companies operating in Malaysia and we believe that you will find that Malaysia the right place for you to set up your business,” Datuk Aminar added.