More South Korean companies to invest in Malaysia this year, says MIDA director-general

PROSPECTIVE INVESTMENT: Photo shows a specialist working on a solar battery. Among Malaysia’s top three foreign investors is a large solar energy manufacturer, for which negotiations are said to be in the final stages, according to MIDA. — Reuters photo

SEOUL: South Korea is expected to emerge among Malaysia’s top three foreign investors this year, as more of its companies are to
come in to invest, says Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) director-general Datuk Jalilah Baba.

Among them was a large solar energy manufacturer for which negotiations are said to be in the final stages.

The company was expected to invest in Malaysia by year-end, she told a press conference, here yesterday.

Last year, South Korea was Malaysia’s seventh largest investor, with total investments amounting to RM8.69 billion. In fact, she said, South Korea’s second largest ethylene maker, Honam Petrochemical Corp, made a huge investment last year by acquiring Titan Chemicals Corp Bhd, Malaysia’s biggest integrated olefins and polyolefins producer.

Jalilah said further investments by South Korean companies are expected in green technology, solar panels, heavy industries and engineering.

“We are also trying to attract them to invest in real estates,” said Jalilah, who is in the official entourage of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is on a three-day working visit to South Korea from Monday.

Meanwhile, the Malaysia-Korea Business Council Malaysian Chapter, in its meeting with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on
Monday, identified green technology, automotive and pharmaceuticals as among the collaborative areas.

Council Malaysian Chapter deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said discussions also centred on halal products potentials and factors relating to investments in Malaysia and market expansion.

He said much could be learnt about the automotive industry from South Koreans particularly in terms of cost-cutting and production of parts and components.

“Their automotive industry is self-sufficient, highly developed, not facing any problems and is not affected by the crisis in Japan,” added Nadzmi, who is also Proton Holdings Bhd’s chairman. — Bernama

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