He said Japan played a significant part in Malaysia’s growth, being a top sources of foreign investments since the 1980s and as of September this year, it stood as the second largest foreign investor after Singapore, with investments valued at US$16.6 billion (RM70 billion).
“Japan is also the foremost source of foreign direct investments in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector. At end-2016, 2,621 projects with Japanese participation and worth US$27.8 billion (RM88.5 billion) had been implemented,” Najib said in his keynote address at the Malaysia Nikkei Business Forum 2017 here today.
Najib said for the first half of this year, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority approved 16 manufacturing projects with Japanese participation and worth RM559 million, with 75 per cent of these being reinvestments by Japanese companies already operating in the country.
He highlighted that these reinvestments showed the continued trust and confidence in Malaysia as a prime place for companies to conduct business.
The Prime Minister said Malaysia had been collaborating with Japan since 1982 under the Look East Policy and both countries recently reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining bilateral cooperation at an all-time high.
Under the Look East Policy, Malaysia sent its students to Japanese universities and institutes of technologies, as well as, to gain experience and industrial training. To date, more than 16,600 Malaysians had benefited from this programme.
Najib said Asia had the potential to be a lucrative market as it is estimated that 5.3 billion people would reside in this part of the world in 2050, while accounting for about 54 per cent of the predicted global population of 9.9 billion.
“Many have said that the 19th century belonged to the United Kingdom, while the 20th century was dominated by the United States.
“Moving to today, market experts and analysts have forecast that it is now Asia’s turn to be the epicentre of the global economy in the 21st century,” he added. – Bernama