Proton, Peugeot in talks on partnership
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday confirmed that French carmaker Peugeot is in serious talks with Proton Holdings Bhd on a possible partnership.
“Decisions are not concluded yet, but (there) could be a possibility,” he said, without going into details.
Najib was speaking at a joint press conference after his meeting with French President François Hollande, who was on a twoday state visit that ended yesterday.
It was reported last month that Peugeot had submitted a bid to buy a stake in Proton.
Proton remains Asean’s only full-fledged car manufacturer that carried out research and development, design, manufacturing, distribution and sales.
Other nations in the 10-member Asean do not have a fully homegrown car manufacturer.
Proton is strategic in many ways, including being located in the centre of Asia, the world’s fastest growing economic region. Proton’s Shah Alam and Tanjung Malim assembly plants have a combined capacity of up to 400,000 cars per annum.
Najib also expressed Malaysia’s gratitude to Hollande when France did not agree to a bill to tax Malaysian palm oil, which he described as an encouragement, stressing that the palm oil industry was being managed in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
“We ensure that it is a balanced development, as many people depend on palm oil as a source of their livelihood.”
Last September, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said Malaysia would engage in high-level discussions with French parliamentarians to ursuade France not to raise duties on Malaysian palm oil, which has a 21 per cent import tax.
Hollande said France was aware of the importance of palm oil to Malaysia’s economy.
“We make sure that the issues of palm oil are being treated fairly.”