The budding hope of the visit to Japan

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s economic sector is set to receive a much-needed boost, with small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) becoming the main beneficiary.

This will mean more employment opportunities for people in Malaysia or Keluarga Malaysia, many of whom are still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With Malaysia transitioning into the endemic phase and reopening its international borders since April 1, the prospect of a robust economic recovery is now much more realistic.

Malaysia also hopes to overcome lingering problems from the pre-pandemic period, including lingering labor market challenges, lingering supply issues and growing inflationary pressure, among others.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who recently returned from a six-day trip to Japan, said his first visit to the land of the rising sun paved the way for creating new opportunities in all sectors to bring immense benefits to the country and its people.

Among the most important achievements is the signing of three Memoranda of Cooperation (MOC) related to the aviation industry, skilled workers and youth and sports.

The Aviation Industry MOC is a collaboration between Malaysia and Japan to strengthen aerospace activities involving maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and downstream aerospace activities.

It will enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in the industry supply chain.

The MOC on Skilled Workers, meanwhile, will see specified skilled Malaysian workers sent to Japan.

Through the MOC, more than 1,000 Malaysians will have the opportunity to gain work experience in Japan, and if the program proves successful, discussions will take place with the Japanese government to increase the number of Malaysian participants.

The program offers Malaysians the opportunity to gain experience and expertise in Japan, and they could contribute to related industries in Malaysia upon their return.

The MOC involving the Ministry of Youth and Sports is related to youth exchange and development and sports.

Among the areas of cooperation being considered are the training of volunteers in disasters such as floods and volunteering at international sporting events, with Japan leading by example after hosting the Olympics under difficult conditions.

Tokyo was the host of the 2020 Olympics, but the prestigious sporting event had to be postponed until July last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Prime Minister, who held an engaging and friendly session with nearly 30 representatives of leading Japanese companies, said some had expressed a desire to explore business opportunities while others planned to increase investments in Malaysia.

Among them are Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co Ltd, Marubeni Corporation, Mitsubishi Power and many more.

“I believe that my official working visit has achieved the desired goal and the relationship between Malaysia and Japan continues to grow to the benefit of both countries.” said the prime minister.

Azmi Tarmizi is the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary 1