JAKARTA – Malaysia and Indonesia will soon join forces in the automotive industry to make the Asean car a reality, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the project would be a dream come true as newly-appointed Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, has expressed interest in pursuing the idea mooted by Malaysia.
National car maker, Proton Holdings Bhd, is expected to be involved in the project.
“A feasibility study of a possible joint production of the Asean car by Malaysia and Indonesia will be undertaken and it (the idea) was welcomed by President Jokowi who wants the idea to be pursued further.
“This means Proton and Indonesia will launch the Asean car as a viable project after in-depth studies,” he told Malaysian journalists here yesterday at the end of his two-day visit to the Indonesian capital to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Jokowi.
The prime minister also hoped Indonesia, under the new administration, would continue to adopt an open economy via its existing policies, to further expand bilateral trade between the two countries.
“I also hope the involvement of Malaysian companies in Indonesia will remain intact.
“And, if there are new laws (to be introduced) it should not affect existing Malaysian investments,” Najib said.
The Prime Minister also hoped Malaysia and Indonesia could integrate not only people-to-people relationships but also on the political and economic front to maximise profits accruing from the cooperation.
Najib said Malaysia aspired to see the relations grow since it would assume the Asean chairmanship next year.
Jokowi got down to work today as the seventh president of Indonesia after taking his oath of office at the People’s Consultative Assembly, the highest constitutional body, to lead the country of 250 million people.
The former governor of Jakarta took over from Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who had been the president since 2004.
Najib was accorded the honour of being the first of the foreign heads of government to arrive at the Istana Merdeka, the president’s official residence, to call on Jokowi and convey his congratulations.
The prime minister arrived in Indonesia on Sunday at the personal invitation of Jokowi, 53, to attend the historic event for Indonesia with his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and joined 18 foreign dignitaries and nine heads of government during the ceremony. – BERNAMA