SPEECH BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER OF INVESTMENT, TRADE AND INDUSTRY YANG BERHORMAT SENATOR TENGKU DATUK SERI UTAMA ZAFRUL TENGKU ABDUL AZIZ AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE TOKYO AUTO SALON, KUALA LUMPUR 9 JUNE 2023
Mr Hidenori Ito Chief Executive Officer of San Ei Corporation Mr Jason Yap Chief Executive Officer and Director of Element X Strategies Encik Riduwan Matni, Chief Executive officer of MUSE Asia Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen.
Assalamualaikum Warahmatulahi Wabarakatuh, and a very good evening. Thank you for your invitation for me to speak today at this momentous event for Malaysia.
For those of you who are car enthusiasts, you are undoubtedly familiar with the prestigious Tokyo Auto Salon. On behalf of MITI, I would like to extend my congratulations to the three parties responsible for bringing this show to Kuala Lumpur – San Ei Corporation, Element X Strategies, and MUSE Group Asia. Let’s give them a big round of applause.
I believe this effort is not only incredibly innovative but also holds exceptional value, not just for Malaysia and the ASEAN region, but also as a catalyst for greater business opportunities between Japanese and regional automotive and aftermarket industry players.
The Tokyo Auto Salon, which began in 1983, has now become one of the largest events in the car modification and tune-up world. Each year, it attracts over 1,000 cars, 500 exhibitors, and 4,000 booths showcasing accessories and performance parts. With 300,000 visitors, including press members and auto world celebrities, it has established itself as a significant platform. And now, the maiden show in Kuala Lumpur is expected to draw between 80,000 and 100,000 visitors.
Beyond the vibrant displays and the lively atmosphere, the Tokyo Auto Salon serves as an influential platform to cultivate and enhance business opportunities and collaborations. This is an area of great interest to Malaysia, and I encourage Malaysian businesses and entities to fully capitalize on this
Ladies and gentlemen, Malaysia possesses the potential, infrastructure, and necessary support system to become a competitive and vibrant automotive hub in the ASEAN market. However, our pursuit of this objective must be strategic, ensuring that it not only attracts foreign investors and companies but also benefits our country, industries, and workforce. This aligns with Malaysia’s goal of becoming a hub for advanced technologies and transitioning into a high-income nation.
This vision has already attracted companies such as Porsche, KIA, Hyundai, Mini Cooper, Mazda, and BMW to initiate and expand their operations in Malaysia. Notably, Malaysia has become the first Porsche manufacturing facility outside of Europe. Recently, Tesla announced its plans to establish an office, Tesla Experience and service centres, as well as a supercharger network in Malaysia. This entry by Tesla is facilitated through MITI’s BEV Global Leaders initiative.
Malaysia’s strength in the electric and electronic (E&E) and semiconductor sectors plays a pivotal role in facilitating these investments, as these industries are vital for supporting electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.
As Malaysia advances its vehicle electrification initiatives, we are steadfast in our commitment to invest in technical and vocational education and training, aimed at expanding the knowledge and skills of our future workforce.
Furthermore, we are dedicated to enhancing the National EV Task Force, which will play a pivotal role in formulating a comprehensive policy tailored specifically for electric vehicles (EVs). The Task Force will undertake vital responsibilities, including the evaluation of manufacturers, importers, and brands to bolster local companies, as well as the assessment of charging infrastructure beyond conventional electronic and electrical (E&E) networks in close collaboration with EV manufacturers.
Ladies and gentlemen, I must emphasise that MITI acknowledges the crucial role of institutional change and robust policies in creating opportunities for innovation and future growth. Through the upcoming New Industrial Master Plan 2030, or NIMP2030, set to launch in September, MITI aims to outline our strategic direction and emphasize the significance of innovation in attaining key objectives.
In collaboration with esteemed institutions such as Bank Negara and the World Bank, we are actively revitalizing our industrial framework with the following key elements:
a. Firstly, Enhancing Economic Complexity: MITI is reimagining investment, trade, and industrial processes to cultivate an environment that fosters innovation and the development of superior products and services. This will stimulate knowledge generation, retention, and growth within Malaysia’s institutions and industries.
b. Secondly, Promoting Tech Adoption and Innovation Culture: We are committed to promoting swift, safe, and appropriate technology adoption among public agencies and private sector companies. Our aim is to nurture a thriving innovation culture in Malaysia, while ensuring responsible utilization of transformative technologies like IR4.0 and AI.
c. Thirdly, Addressing Global Agendas: Our innovation efforts align with global imperatives such as Malaysia’s Page 8 of 9 target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We prioritize innovative projects encompassing renewable energy, circular economy practices, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage, thus contributing to a greener
d. Finally, Economic Security and Inclusivity: We prioritize inclusive and economically secure innovation that serves the greater good of society. Our focus is on purposedriven innovation that benefits all segments of society and avoids exacerbating wealth or digital disparities.
In summary, MITI’s commitment to institutional change and strong policies underpins our support for innovation and future growth. The NIMP2030 will serve as a strategic roadmap, while collaboration with esteemed institutions will aid in revamping Malaysia’s industrial framework in accordance with
our goals of enhancing economic complexity, fostering an innovation culture, addressing global agendas, and prioritizing economic security and inclusivity.
Ladies and gentlemen, Before I end, it is my sincere hope that the Tokyo Auto Salon Kuala Lumpur will not only contribute to these efforts but also inspire a new generation of innovative and creative Malaysian automotive entrepreneurs. Behind the elaborate displays lies an industry which contributes significantly towards our economy with immense opportunities to explore.
To the Japanese business entities present here today, I extend a warm welcome and encourage you to explore how Malaysia can facilitate your plans for further expansion. Our doors at the Ministry are always open.
Once again, congratulations, and like all of you, I am eagerly looking forward to an exciting show ahead.