Najib, Abe establish framework for Look East Policy’s second wave 

(NST) – Malaysia is moving into the second phase of the Look East Policy (LEP) which will emphasise on deepening and strengthening certain areas including institutional relationship.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the bilateral relationship would continue to be based on the policy after 30 years of successful collaboration under the first phase of LEP.

Najib said Japan was now the main investor in Malaysia with 1,400 companies operating in the country.

“Their investment in the manufacturing industry alone has reached USD22.2 billion last year,” he said in a joint press conference with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe here today.

Najib and Abe  earlier held a bilateral meeting at the prime minister’s official residence at Nagata-cho here.

Najib said Japanese investors should also move up the value chain and focus on high technology as Malaysia is now undergoing a transformation process to become a developed nation.

“They should leverage on their strength in the areas of green technology and renewable energy, waste disposal and small and medium enterprises,” he said.

Najib said the Japanese companies, which are internationally-recognised in coal-fire and high-speed railway technology, could also participate in future infrastructure development in Malaysia through an open bidding system.

He also welcomed Abe’s intention to increase the number of scholarships for Asean students to study at the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) in Kuala Lumpur as it would help turn the institution into the hub for technology education in the region.

“Malaysia also supports Japan’s intention to increase training with Malaysian maritime agencies and the use of Asean Defence Ministerial Meeting as a platform to discuss future security matters,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abe said Japan would continue to assist Malaysia in its effort to become an advanced country by 2020.

He said the foundation of the bilateral relationship between the two countries were based on “a multi-layer of ties and bonds of friendship” that were developed under the LEP.

“We need to establish a framework for the second wave of LEP that Malaysia is pursuing,” he said adding that he had also exchanged views with Najib on regional situation since Malaysia will assume Asean chairmanship in 2015.