TAPiO Newsletter – July 2019 Issue

DIPLOMATIC SPHERE

Sultan Abdullah Formally Installed as Malaysia’s New King

The Sultan of Pahang, Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, was installed as the 16th king of Malaysia on Tuesday (Jul 30) in a ceremony steeped in Malay royal customs and traditions, formally marking his five-year reign as the head of state. Sultan Abdullah, who turned 60 on the same day, was clad in the official ceremonial dress named the Muskat – a long black robe adorned with golden embroidery. His consort Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, meanwhile, was dressed in an ivory white attire and matching scarf. In his maiden address at Istana Negara, Sultan Abdullah called on the people to refrain from inciting misunderstanding by raising matters that can undermine and destroy harmony in the country. He stressed that unity and harmony are the pillars and strength of the nation. “Playing with fire will burn not only oneself but also the whole village,” he said. The king also pledged to do his best to promote unity and tolerance among people of all races and religions. “I will put the people first; respect the old and honour the young. I will carry this out with great humility,” he said. Around 700 guests, comprising the Malay rulers, Cabinet ministers and foreign dignitaries attended the ceremony that was broadcast live on state television. Among the notable foreign guests included Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Zayed Al-Nahyan and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Sultan Abdullah was proclaimed the sixth Sultan of Pahang on Jan 15, succeeding his father. He was subsequently elected as the 16th king at a special meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Jan 24 and was sworn on 31st of January. His coronation came after the abdication of Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V in January.

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MARii And UiTM To Collaborate On R&D, Talent Network

The Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen, promote and develop academic, cultural and research cooperation. UiTM was represented by its vice-chancellor, emeritus professor Mohd Azraai Kassim while MARii was represented by its CEO Datuk Madani Sahari. The MoU will see both parties promoting participation in transforming the Malaysian industry into a globally competitive sector, particularly in the areas of human capital development and application of technology to meet industry demands. Prof Azraai said that the collaboration will lead towards establishing the first UiTM–MARii Satellite Node, the country’s first MARii Satellite in a university, located at the UiTM’s faculty of mechanical engineering. With the signing of the MoU, both parties will further discuss new collaborations including industrial partnership programmes through consultancy projects in automotive, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT); the establishment of teaching-factory partnerships through shared industrial space and the offering of automotive, robotics and IoT as elective subjects; and the development of post graduate programmes through MARii’s centres of excellence.

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South Korea Seeking Stronger Ties With Fast-Growing SE Asian Economics

South Korea is deepening ties with Southeast Asia in hopes of creating new growth engines in the region’s young, fast-growing economies and seeking a breakthrough amid growing uncertainties in global trade. Southeast Asia has a combined population of 630 million and combined gross domestic product of $2.4 trillion. The average age of populations in the region is in their 30s. Last year, Korea had a record-breaking trade surplus of $93.4 billion with ASEAN, with rising exports centered on chips and textile products, according to a report released by the Bank of Korea last week. Trade volume between South Korea and ASEAN reached $160 billion last year from $61.8 billion in 2007, when their free trade deal first came into effect.

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Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad: Restructure Business, Industrial Ecosystems To Meet Future Needs

Business and industrial ecosystems need to be restructured to meet the needs of the future with the adoption and application of digital and innovative technologies, coupled with effective management and high value-added skills of the local talents. Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said there was a need for the government to look at new sectors to boost growth. Themed “Expanding Trade and Investments between Malaysia and Japan in the Innovative Technologies Sectors”, the joint conference seeks to explore ways to introduce specific measures to promote technological renovation and innovation within the region. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad also said Malaysia was working closely with its neighboring countries to promote regional development. Investing in Malaysia will also help Japan to expand its market into the ASEAN region and the country, he said, and put high hopes on investment from Japan into high-tech fields and areas which could contribute to developing the manufacturing sector, as well as cultivation of human resources.

33 Malaysians Receive Full Scholarships From Hungarian Government

Thirty-three Malaysians will pursue their tertiary education in Hungary with full scholarships this year, courtesy of Hungary government’s Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship programme. The second batch of Malaysians pursuing undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies who are set to start their first semester in September will have their tuition fee, monthly stipend, accommodation and medical insurance covered. The Ambassador of Hungary to Malaysia, His Excellency Attila Kali said the scholarship, which was offered to Malaysians following last year’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked between the two governments, is one of the positive results of 50 years of bilateral relations between Hungary and Malaysia. Under the MoU, the Hungarian government would offer 40 scholarships annually for three years starting from the 2018 academic year in various programmes including agriculture, architecture and culture heritage, health science, natural science and environmental science.

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BUSINESS 

Kulim Airport To Be Game Changer.

The proposed Kulim International Airport (KXP) in Kedah will be a game changer for Malaysia, said economic advisory firm TAPiO Management Advisory Sdn Bhd chairman Bernhard Schutte. He said KXP could become the biggest logistics hub in ASEAN. KXP is one of the seven mega projects announced for Kedah recently. The others are a manufacturing industrial and logistics hub in Sidam near Kulim, a digital library in Alor Star, a petrochemical industrial park in Gurun and the Kasih Ibu Darul Aman programme. The projects will cost more than RM3 billion and are part of an effort to draw foreign investments into the state. The proposed Kulim International Airport (KXP) in Kedah will be a game changer for Malaysia, said economic advisory firm TAPiO Management Advisory Sdn Bhd chairman Bernhard Schutte. He said KXP could become the biggest logistics hub in ASEAN. KXP is one of the seven mega projects announced for Kedah recently. The others are a manufacturing industrial and logistics hub in Sidam near Kulim, a digital library in Alor Star, a petrochemical industrial park in Gurun and the Kasih Ibu Darul Aman programme. The projects will cost more than RM3 billion and are part of an effort to draw foreign investments into the state. 

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Malaysia Remains A Preferred Investment Destination For Italian Companies

Malaysia remains a preferred economic and trade investment destination in the ASEAN region for Italian companies due to its strategic location and a socio-politically stable climate. The Italian Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency, Cristiano Maggipinto said good infrastructure and connectivity, a highly skilled workforce, low cost of living and the wide use of English language are also among the factors that attracted Italian companies to expand in Malaysia. The bilateral trade between Malaysia and Italy is growing at an impressive rate. Data from the Italian institute of Statistics had shown that Malaysia-Italy bilateral trade had increased by 23% in the last five years, amounting close to €3 billion (RM10.7 billion). Italian exports to Malaysia in 2018 accounted for almost €1.2 billion, with industrial machinery and equipment making up a third of its sales in Malaysia.

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Malaysia-China Trade Hits US$100bil

Bilateral trade volume between China and Malaysia has reached US$100bil and China has remained Malaysia’s biggest trading partner for 10 consecutive years. China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Bai Tian said the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector has more than quadrupled over the past five years, being the largest source of foreign investments in the industry for three consecutive years. By the end of 2018, Chinese companies have invested in 422 projects in the manufacturing sector, creating about 73,000 jobs in Malaysia.

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Ukraine Keen On Boosting Trade, Business

Ukraine is keen on boosting bilateral ties with Malaysia and hopes to establish more business opportunities that can benefit both countries, says its Ambassador to Malaysia His Excellency, Olexander Nechytaylo. According to him, trade between Ukraine and Malaysia has been growing not just in numbers, but also in the type of goods being traded. “Ukraine is starting to supply things like chocolates, apples and even onions to Malaysia. The Malaysian market is very competitive and the opportunities are very huge“ he said during a dialogue programme with Miri Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), at the end of a three-day official visit.

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China And Malaysia Restart Massive ‘Belt And Road’ Project After Hiccups

China and Malaysia resumed construction on a massive “Belt and Road” train project in northern Malaysia on Thursday, after a year-long suspension and following a rare agreement to cut its cost by nearly a third to about $11 billion (8.8 billion pounds). The project was initially cancelled by Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who came to power after a shock election victory in May last year, as he followed through a pledge to renegotiate or cancel “unfair” Chinese mega-projects approved by his predecessor, Najib Razak. But in April, the close trade partners agreed to proceed with the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) at a cost of 44 billion ringgit ($10.7 billion), reducing it from 65.5 billion ringgit. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been praised for its potential to speed up economic development in many developing countries but criticised for potentially saddling many of them with unsustainable debt.

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PETROCHEMICAL

PrefChem to Restart Crude Unit At Malaysian Refinery In July

Reported that Pangerang refining and Petrochemical, a joint venture between Petronas and Saudi Aramco, is expected to restart a crude distillation unit at its oil refinery in Malaysia in July. USD 27 billion Pangerang Integrated Complex, consists of a 300,000 barrels prepay oil refinery and a petrochemical complex with a production capacity of 7.7 million tonnes per year in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.

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Malaysia’s Petronas Looks To Chemical Recycling To Tackle Plastic Waste Problem

Malaysia’s Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Kingdom (UK) company, Plastic Energy Ltd, a chemical recycling company, to collaborate in addressing plastic waste that cannot be recycled by conventional means in Malaysia. The strategic collaboration marks the first step towards a circular economy which maximizes the plastics value chain. PCG and Plastic Energy will jointly carry out a feasibility study to establish a facility to convert plastic waste into Tacoil, Plastic Energy’s feedstock to create recycled virgin-quality plastics from low quality, mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill. Depending on the outcome of the study, PCG and Plastic Energy may consider building a commercial plant in Malaysia.

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Sabah Must Control Own Resource Use

Sabah’s rich resources must be prioritised for use towards the prosperity of Sabah and benefit the people, and as a nation, Malaysia, benefits from taxes and vibrant economic dynamism. Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) YB Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking said as he made it clear that he wears two hats, one as a Federal Miti Minister responsible for the whole country, and as a Sabahan politician. Sabah has talents locally and overseas to be lured back, who can manage its rich natural resources well for future generations, he said. The entire ownership in, and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges of exploring, exploiting, winning and obtaining petroleum whether onshore or offshore of Malaysia shall be vested in Petronas incorporated under the Companies Act 1965 enjoying the ownership, rights, powers, liberties and privileges and that the ownership and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges so vested shall be irrevocable and shall endure for the benefit of Petronas and its successor.

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AUTOMOTIVES

UK Opens To Collaboration With Khazanah On New National Car Project

The United Kingdom (UK) is open to collaborate with Khazanah Nasional Bhd in the development of the New National Car Project (NNCP) in a bid to help Malaysia realising its carbon emission reduction goal. With the UK’s expertise in electric vehicles (EV) manufacturing, Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Peter Estlin, believed that the UK would be able to help Malaysia to fulfil its pledge in order to reduce 45 per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission by 2030.

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Malaysia Seeking To Manufacture ‘Super Cars’

His Excellency Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has pictured the possibility of Malaysia producing “Super Cars” in order to further enhance the capability of the nation’s automotive industry. The Prime Minister said Turkish supercar producer Onuk had indicated willingness to cooperate with Malaysia to produce the exotic vehicle. His Excellency Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said he had long been aware of Turkish companies’ capability but only now he could see it first-hand. The Prime Minister during a dialogue session with Turkish captains of industry had offered them Malaysian expertise to produce their own national car based on the success garnered by Proton and Perodua.

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