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Sabah and Japan’s trade relations strong: Phoong
Published on: Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Sabah and Japan’s trade relations strong: Phoong
Phoong (right) and Head of the Japan Consular Office in Kota Kinabalu, Yoshito Yamashita (left) during a courtesy call. (BP)
Kota Kinabalu: Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Phoong Jin Zhe (pic) said the economic relationship between Sabah and Japan is strong and enduring.

He said Japan stands as Sabah’s fourth-largest trade partner, accounting for 7.9 per cent of Sabah’s total trade last year. 

“Sabah’s exports to Japan amount to RM2.936 billion, representing 9.4 per cent of the State’s total exports,” said Phoong, adding these figures underscore the robust and vital economic relationship between Sabah and Japan, which continues to grow stronger.

He said Japan has been a crucial trading partner for the region, and the mutual respect and economic partnership between Malaysia and Japan have flourished since the 1980s under the Look East Policy.

Speaking at the Sabah-Japan ESG Forum held in Hyatt Centric here Friday, Phoong said as the global supply chain transitions towards energy sustainability and a low-carbon economy, the partnership and investments from Japan are critical.

“Collaboration between Sabah and Japan will be key in leveraging Japanese expertise and technologies to drive innovation and sustainability in various sectors,” he said. His speech was delivered by his Political Secretary Chan Loong Wei.

He also commented on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz’s success in securing RM1.45 billion in potential investments and RM550 million in potential exports during their working trip to Japan last month, encouraging Japanese investors and businesses to seriously consider Sabah.

He said Sabah offers a conducive environment for Japanese companies and investors.

“We have been working closely with the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia, Takahashi Katsuhiko and Japanese trade associations, including JACTIM and JETRO.

“Sabah’s proximity to Japan positions it as a pivotal player in the journey towards sustainable energy solutions development in the region. The Sabah Government is excited to welcome Japanese investors to explore potential investments in renewable energy and the semiconductor industry,” he said.

He also thanked the organisers of the Sabah-Japan ESG Forum for their efforts in facilitating this important event. 

“We hope all attendees enjoy their stay in the beautiful city of Kota Kinabalu.”

Also present were Head of the Japan Consular Office in Kota Kinabalu, Yamashita Yoshito; Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd Executive Chairman Datuk Jasnih Daya; Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Datuk Thomas Logijin; Kota Kinabalu Mayor Datuk Seri Dr Sabin Samitah; Invest Sabah Berhad Deputy Chairman George Wong; and the forum organising chairman Hiro Chai. 

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