Shafie urges Toy­ota to open factory in Sabah

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - Front Page -

NAGOYA, JA­PAN: Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Pan­glima Mohd Shafie Ap­dal sug­gested that Ja­panese renowned au­to­mo­tive com­pany, Toy­ota Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion (Toy­ota), open a com­po­nent assem­bly factory for its ve­hi­cles in Sabah.

He said do­ing so would strengthen the mar­ket of Toy­ota in Bor­neo, es­pe­cially with plans for the In­done­sian cap­i­tal to move from Jakarta to East Kal­i­man­tan.

Sabah would also ben­e­fit in terms of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cals, as well as eco­nomic spillover, he added.

Shafie made the sug­ges­tion dur­ing his meet­ing with lead­ers in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try, a er a end­ing a ‘Busi­ness Op­por­tu­nity Sem­i­nar in Malaysia’ in con­junc­tion with its in­vest­ment mission in Nagoya, Ja­pan.

“We are also users of the cars they pro­duce, but we need to look at the po­ten­tial for us to ben­e­fit from, as cer­tain mod­els ex­ported and re­leased from Toy­ota are much needed in our coun­try. To en­sure its sus­tain­abil­ity, we would sug­gest that co­op­er­a­tion with Toy­ota be either through assem­bly or us be­com­ing sup­pli­ers in Ja­pan, es­pe­cially for four-wheel drive ve­hi­cles which are greatly needed for road con­di­tions in Sabah, Sarawak and Kal­i­man­tan.

“I am sure we have the po­ten­tial in terms of lo­ca­tion and man­power as our youths are skilled to work in the field. We could also pro­vide a lo­ca­tion not far from Ja­pan, and the re­sources we have could cater to their needs in or­der to pro­duce a win-win out­come,” said Shafie.

Apart from meet­ing with au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try play­ers, Shafie also met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of WADA Air­cra Tech­nol­ogy Co. Ltd., a Ja­panese in­ter­na­tional com­pany in­volved in the aero­space in­dus­try.

Ear­lier at the sem­i­nar, Shafie de­liv­ered the key­note ad­dress and led a ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion which lasted over an hour, be­fore 142 busi­ness­men and in­vestors from Ja­pan.

In an­swer­ing a ques­tion, the Chief Min­is­ter said among se­lected fields in Sabah in which to co­op­er­ate with com­pa­nies from Ja­pan in­cluded fur­ni­ture pro­duc­tion, as the state has an ad­e­quate source of tim­ber.

Al­though Sabah no longer ex­ports tim­ber, com­pa­nies from Ja­pan could open up fac­to­ries in Sabah with the state gov­ern­ment’s as­sur­ance that tim­ber would be sup­plied at all times, based on de­mand.

“I be­lieve Ja­pan im­ports rub­ber­wood from Malaysia, es­pe­cially Sabah, and we have 180,000 acres of land planted with rub­ber trees. The wood could be used to pro­duce fur­ni­ture and it is clear our in­dus­tries work closely to­gether, so I hope by open­ing a factory in Sabah, we could con­tinue to strengthen co­op­er­a­tion,” said Shafie.

He fur­ther as­sured that the state gov­ern­ment would pro­vide the fa­cil­i­ties and con­ve­nience, in­clud­ing faster ap­proval within 24 hours for Ja­panese com­pa­nies in­vest­ing in Sabah, pro­vided nec­es­sary con­di­tions are met.

“We have the poli­cies and in­stru­ments to ap­prove any in­vest­ments com­ing into Sabah in the span of 24 hours, as long as the Environmen­tal Im­pact Assess­ment (EIA) and other con­di­tions are abided by,” Shafie elab­o­rated.

Shafie speak­ing at the ‘Busi­ness Op­por­tu­nity Sem­i­nar in Malaysia’ at a ho­tel in Nagoya.

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