The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in Malaysia has secured a total of RM24 billion potential investment through the recently concluded Trade and Investment Mission to the Republic of Korea (ROK).
Led by MITI Minister, YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz, a key feature of the mission was the Venture Capital (VC) Investors Roundtable which was chaired by Tengku Zafrul and participated by more than 20 Korean VC investors, who indicated interests to locate their robotics and AI-based businesses in Malaysia. There were exchanges of four memorandum of understanding (MOUs) which saw a few Korean VCs’ displayed their commitment to invest up to US$400 million in Malaysia.
Among the new investment projects deliberated during the mission were by Samsung Engineering, SKC, Lotte Fine Chemicals, Hyundai, COWAY and a consortium of Korean companies. Lotte Energy Materials, Samsung Engineering and POSCO Holdings also expressed their commitment to inject new investments in Malaysia, as well as ensure the transfer of new technology, high-value job creation, talent development, ecosystem creation and collaboration with local universities and industries, particularly among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
There was also proposed resumption of bilateral free trade agreement negotiation between both countries; 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).
Tengku Zafrul said the strong interest shown by Korean companies is a major catalyst for expanding Malaysia-South Korea bilateral trade and investment relations. He added that Malaysia’s economic competitiveness in the future will depend on whether the nation can secure access to and master green technology.
“It is crucial for Malaysia to work with investors that can help us unlock growth in areas that support our sustainable agenda. 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.
In 2022, the ROK stood as the eighth largest trading partner for Malaysia with total trade amounting to RM114.21 billion, an increase of 29.3% compared to RM88.31 billion in 2021.
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