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RENEWED TIES WITH JAPAN TO MAKE MALAYSIA MORE COMPETITIVE – MAJECA

NEW DELHI, India Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s renewed focus on Malaysia’s relations with Japan will bring in key technologies and skills to support the country’s economic competitiveness, a top executive of the Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA) said.

Vice-President Mohamed Iqbal Rawther said Japan may have a “slight advantage” under the new government based on “the historical track record” when bilateral relations grew strong under Tun Mahathir’s prime ministership.

While the earlier phase was marked by Malaysia’s efforts to transform its agriculture-dominated economy to create an industrial base, the new focus was expected to be on engaging with Japan to develop advanced technologies and capital-intensive industries, Mohamed Iqbal told Bernama during a recent visit to India.

He said starting in the 1980s, Japan had helped in training 15,000 Malaysians in top management and other skills.

He expressed hope that Japan would similarly work with the country in implementing training schemes to prepare Malaysians for areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology and the technology-driven services.

“Under the renewed interest in the Look East policy, critical areas have been identified for embracing the Japanese experience.

“On the global front, Malaysia will be able to engage with all countries in attracting foreign investments and technology. At the same time, based on the historical track record, Japan will have a slight advantage,” Mohamed Iqbal added.

Japan is one of Malaysia’s largest foreign investors. It was reported that cumulative foreign direct investment from Japan totalled RM71.6 billion last year, the second highest (after Singapore).

After he took office as the seventh Prime Minister, Mahathir’s first official foreign visit was to Japan in June.–

Source: NAM News Network

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