Malaysia eyes Indian partners in manufacturing, automotive, Industry 4.0 to tap ASEAN market

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on February 15, 2019 Published on February 15, 2019

In a month’s time, Malaysia will bring its largest-ever business delegation, comprising officials from the government, corporates, SMEs, and other institutions, to participate in IESS VII, an engineering expo being organised by EEPC India, in Chennai. The objective is to explore investment opportunities and forge joint ventures in manufacturing and technology as Malaysia looks beyond traditional areas for cooperation. Dato’ Madani Sahari, Chief Executive Officer, the Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), an agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Government of Malaysia, spoke to BusinessLine on the emerging opportunities for collaboration. Excerpts:

What drives Malaysia’s renewed interest in India?

Malaysia believes that technology will be the enabler in the times to come. The new government in Malaysia looks at India as an important partner. We will explore how we can bring partners from India to serve ASEAN using Malaysia as a base. Import opportunities – bringing auto parts from India into Malaysia and also to supply ASEAN – will also be explored. Malaysian companies feel India could be a good base to widen their exports to Afghanistan, the African continent and other markets.

What is the outcome you are anticipating?

We will bring about 100 companies in the field of manufacturing, technology and auto components to explore cooperation opportunities. This is the largest ever team from Malaysia. We are hoping to sign at least five agreements during this IESS event, mostly in technology, research and development areas.

Is Industry 4.0 the focus area?

Our Ministry recently launched the Industry 4.0 policy. In that, we have put forth measures needed for creating the necessary ecosystem. We are also now drafting our new national and automotive policy 2019, in which we talk about deploying and implementing Industry 4.0. We are aware that there are a lot of system integrators (SIs) in India. We intend to facilitate face-to-face and strategic discussion between SIs of India and Malaysia. Also, some of the top Indian IT companies offer Industry 4.0 technologies. Malaysian companies are quite eager to see whether those technologies could be adopted back in our country. Chennai will be our base for the next three years for this objective.

Is Malaysia looking at opportunities in the automotive segment too?

The Indian government is very serious about electric vehicles (EVs). Likewise, Malaysia and other governments are keen on implementing EV programmes. . It is our opinion that in the context of next-generation vehicles, anybody can become a leader. The only way to achieve is to do together. Both India and Malaysia could look at developing niche technologies for mutual benefit.

Published on February 15, 2019
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