Published: Friday January 25, 2013 MYT 10:42:00 AM
Malaysia to see RM5.5bil worth of investments
DAVOS: Several multinational companies have agreed in principle to invest a total of RM5.5bil over several years, mostly up and down the value chain of Malaysia's resurgent oil and gas (O&G) industry.
While the investment figure was just a ballpark figure, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said during meetings held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, which began here Thursday, heads and senior management of these multinational companies expressed interest in investing in the country.
"I met with Itochu Corp, which has expressed an interest in partnering Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to further develop the petrochemical industry in the Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang," he said.
Najib said the talks were coming to fruition and this would positively impact the development of the RM60bil Rapid project.
He said besides this project, Itochu has also expressed an interest in setting up an integrated seamless pipe factory for the O&G industry.
Meanwhile, Najib said the Hanwha Group, a South Korean industrial group, has expressed interest in several investments, including taking over Thalheim, Germany-based Q-Cells SE's Malaysian operations.
He said the industrial group was keen on setting up a research and development centre for the production of photovoltaic systems and solutions.
"They may increase their investments in the future. Besides this, they have expressed interests in investing in an asset management company involved in the construction industry as well as acquiring a life insurance company," he added.
Najib also met with Essen, Germany-based Evonik Industries AG who has agreed to set up a joint venture with Petronas for the petrochemical industry, also in Pengerang.
"This project has been agreed on in principle and the company will be making a one-year detailed study before starting work on the project next year," he said.
Najib also updated the media on his meeting with Canadian Finance Minister James Flaherty, who hoped that economic relations between the Canada and Malaysia would deepen.
Najib, who conveyed the appreciation of the Government to the Canadian government for the approval of Petronas' US$5.21bil of shale-gas producer Progress Energy Resources Corp, said the investment would further increase the state-owned oil company's gas reserves.
He said the World Trade Organisation director-general Pascal Lamy has conveyed his appreciation to the country over its active and positive involvement in supporting rules-based trade as well as in helping to kick-start the moribund Doha Round of global trade talks.
Najib said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has suggested that Malaysia do a study on how the Netherlands, an important agricultural producer, uses technology to help the agricultural sector.
"I shared with him that Malaysia was interested in having Rabobank involved in the agricultural sector," he said.
Utrecht-based Rabobank is involved in food and agriculture-based financing.