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Malaysia says South Korean and Japanese firms to invest $3.9 bln in coming years

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 (Reuters) - Malaysia said on Wednesday it had secured potential investments from South Korea and Japan amounting to 16.05 billion ringgit ($3.89 billion) and export purchases of about 986.2 million ringgit to be realised in the coming years.

Malaysia is hoping to attract more foreign investment this year after a major drop in 2020. In a January report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said FDI into the country slid 68% last year, the biggest drop in Southeast Asia.

Aside from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Bank has attributed falling FDI in part to longstanding policy and structural issues.

The deals with South Korea and Japan came as Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali wrapped up a week-long trade mission to both countries on Tuesday.

“The mission, also the first for this year, was paramount to the rigorous efforts by the ministry... to bring in foreign direct investments into Malaysia,” the ministry said in a statement.

South Korean firms had committed in the immediate term to invest a total of 7.3 billion ringgit in Malaysia, and to purchase exports of Malaysian goods amounting to 70 million ringgit, the ministry said.

Japanese companies had agreed to invest 8.75 billion ringgit and buy 916.15 million ringgit of Malaysian products.

This includes a 1 billion ringgit investment from Nippon Electric Glass to produce glass fibre for the automotive, construction and energy sector, the ministry added.

The ministry did not give a specific timeframe for the investments to be made. ($1 = 4.1300 ringgit) (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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