Asean set to draw more Japanese investment

ALOR SETAR, Oct 5 (Bernama) -- Southeast Asian countries can expect more Japanese investors in the next two years as the Japanese are trying to balance their exposure, according to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Its Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan said the Japanese in Southeast Asia re sending back remittances, and will continue to invest as they would like to balance their exposure.

"We can expect reasonable investment from the Japanese here in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, because we have created a landscape that is attractive enough, such as the manpower, skilled labour, trying to streamline our management, trying to rationalise the way which we plan our industrial sector," he told Bernama after launching the International Conference on University Leadership for Integrating Knowledge Diversity for Sustainability at Albukhary International University here today.

He said the Japanese will invest in such traditional sectors as automobiles, electronics, services, logistics, transport, health, education, telecommunications and infrastructure.

"Asean countries should not be hoping for the investments to come, they should try to create a market that will attract investors," he said.

The current territorial dispute between China and Japan will bring some benefit for Asean countries, he said.

"I think we can expect a reasonable attraction here in Asean following what's happening between China and Japan," he said.

Last year, total trade between Malaysia and Japan stood at RM145.3 billion with RM80 billion contributed by exports from Malaysia to Japan, while imports from Japan amounted to RM65.3 billion.

Some 1,400 Japanese companies are operating in Malaysia, creating more than 11,000 job opportunities in the country.