TOKYO: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has urged Japan to continue investing in Malaysia’s growth and development.
Addressing key Japanese captains of industry at a lunch meeting here, the Prime Minister said Malaysia was moving towards a high-income nation category and this has opened up lots of business opportunities.
“We are no longer competing at the low technology level. We are moving up the value chain and looking at higher-paying jobs.
“Malaysia will continue with its policy of remaining at the forefront of development and I encourage Japanese firms to look at the opportunities available,” he said in his opening remarks.
Those present included Sumitomo Corp chairman Kazuo Omori, East Japan Railway Co president/CEO Tetsuro Tomita, Taisei Construction chairman Takashi Yamauchi, NEC Corp chairman Nobuhiro Endo, Mitsui Co Ltd CEO Tatsuo Yasunaga, IHI Corp CEO Tsugio Mitsuoka , Tokyo Gas Co CEO Michiaki Hirose and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co CEO Hideichi Okada.
Najib, who is here on a three-day official visit, said Malaysia and Japan had come a long way since both countries began diplomatic relations in 1957.
“We have benefited a lot from Japan’s presence. Total Japanese investments in Malaysia have come up to US$27bil (RM117.38bil), with over 350,000 jobs created.
“Japan is now Malaysia’s fourth-largest trading partner,” he added.
The PM, who is on his third official annual visit to Japan since 2014, said Malaysia’s National Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme opened up vast opportunities for Japanese industries.
He cited renewal energy, green technology and high-tech development as some of the fields that Japan could exploit.
Earlier, the PM held a meeting with Japan External Trade Corp (Jetro) CEO Hiroyuki Ishige and received a courtesy call from the Japan-Malaysia Parliamentary Friendship Association.
Najib will hold bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe later Wednesday.