PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s economic sector is expected to receive a much-needed boost, with small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) becoming the main beneficiary.
This will be translated into more job opportunities for the people of Malaysia or Keluarga Malaysia, many of whom are still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With Malaysia’s transition to the endemic phase and reopening its international borders since April 1, a robust economic recovery prospect is now much more realistic.
Malaysia also hopes to overcome nagging problems from pre-pandemic times, including persistent labour market challenges, lingering supply issues and rising inflationary pressure, among others.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who returned from a six-day trip to Japan recently, believed his maiden visit to the Land of the Rising Sun had paved the way for creating new opportunities in all sectors to bring immense benefit to the country and its people.
Among the more significant achievements was the signing of three memoranda of cooperation (MOC) related to the aircraft industry, skilled workers, and youth and sports.
The aircraft industry MOC is a collaboration between Malaysia and Japan to strengthen aerospace activities involving maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and aerospace downstream activities.
It will provide an opportunity for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be involved in the industry’s supply chain.
The MOC on skilled workers, meanwhile, will see specified Malaysian skilled workers sent to Japan.
Through the MOC, over 1,000 Malaysians will have the opportunity to gain work experience in Japan, and if the programme proves to be effective, discussions will be held with the Japanese government to increase the number of Malaysian participants.
The programme provides an opportunity for Malaysians to gain experience and expertise in Japan, and they would be able to contribute to related industries in Malaysia on their return.
The MOC involving the Youth and Sports Ministry is related to youth exchange and development, and sports.
Among the areas of cooperation being looked into are volunteer training for disasters such as floods and volunteerism in international sporting events, with Japan leading by example after hosting the Olympic Games under challenging conditions.
Tokyo was the host of the 2020 Olympic Games, but the prestigious sporting event had to be rescheduled to July last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Prime Minister, who held an engagement and friendly session with almost 30 leading Japanese company representatives, said some expressed their desire to explore trade opportunities while others planned to increase investments in Malaysia.
Among them are Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co Ltd, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi Power and many others.
“I believe my official working visit has achieved the desired objective and relations between Malaysia and Japan continue to strengthen to the advantage of both countries.” the Prime Minister said.
Azmi Tarmizi is the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary 1