KUALA LUMPUR (March 19): The International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) has secured potential investments worth RM24 billion as well as RM4.24 billion of potential exports of products and services through its recent trade and investment mission to South Korea.
The mission, led by International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz from March 14-17, 2023, was part of the ministry’s efforts to attract quality investments and increase local companies' participation in higher value global supply chain.
In a statement on Sunday (March 19), Tengku Zafrul said South Korean companies have expressed strong interest in Malaysia, which is a major catalyst for expanding the two countries’ bilateral trade and investment relations, particularly in the sustainable and green technology sectors such as carbon capture storage, hydrogen energy and electric vehicle.
“Malaysia’s economic competitiveness in the future will depend on whether we can secure access to and master green technology.
“Therefore, it is crucial for Malaysia to work with investors that can help us unlock growth in areas that support our sustainable agenda, [and] I hope South Korea can work closely with us on this as we chart a more resilient journey together for the challenges ahead,” he said.
Miti said the new investment projects deliberated during the mission involved Samsung Engineering, SKC, Lotte Fine Chemicals, Hyundai, COWAY and a consortium of South Korean companies.
It said Lotte Energy Materials, Samsung Engineering and POSCO Holdings also expressed their commitment to inject new investments in Malaysia, as well as the transfer of new technology, high-value job creation, talent development, ecosystem creation and collaboration with local universities and industries, particularly involving small and medium enterprises.
During the mission, Tengku Zafrul also met with his counterpart, South Korean Trade Minister Dukgeun Ahn to discuss issues such as the proposed resumption of bilateral free trade agreement negotiation between both countries.
They also discussed the formation of a ministerial trade cooperation dialogue, as well as potential cooperation in digital economy, green economy, renewable energy, supply chain and economic cooperation under the platform of the Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the ministry said.
The mission also included a business seminar, a venture capital (VC) investors’ roundtable and a reception jointly organised by MITI and the Malaysian embassy in Seoul to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Look East Policy between the two nations this year.
More than 250 industry captains of industry from both countries participated in the business seminar in Seoul, while more than 20 South Korean VC investors attended the VC investors’ roundtable and indicated their interest to set up their robotics and artificial intelligence-based businesses in Malaysia.
During the roundtable, Tengku Zafrul, who chaired the session, also witnessed the exchange of four memoranda of understanding which saw several Korean VCs committing to invest up to US$400 million (RM1.79 billion) in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the reception by Miti and the Malaysian embassy was attended by South Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Park Jin and Vice-Minister Lee Do-hoon, as well as members of the business community, government officials from both countries, and Malaysian professionals and students in South Korea.