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Malaysia likely to see $2.2b worth of investments

Najib said that besides this project, Itochu has also expressed an interest in setting up an integrated seamless pipe factory for the O&G industry. -The Star/ANN
Fintan Ng

Sun, Jan 27, 2013
The Star/Asia News Network

MALAYSIA - Several multinational companies have agreed in principle to invest a total of 5.5 billion ringgit (S$2.2 billion) over several years, mostly on Malaysia's resurgent oil and gas (O&G) industry.

While the investment amount is just a ballpark figure, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said several companies had agreed in principle to invest in various industries.

These meetings were held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum with the heads and senior management of the multinational companies.

"I met with Itochu Corp which has expressed interest in partnering with 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 60 billion ringgit Rapid project.

He said that 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 conglomerate, 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 interest 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 Germany's Evonik Industries AG which 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 next year," he said.

Najib also updated the media on his meeting with Canadian Finance Minister James Flaherty, who hoped that economic relations between both countries would strengthen.

Najib, who conveyed Malaysia's appreciation to the Canadian government for the approval of Petronas' US$5.21 billion(S$6.4 billion) takeover of shale-gas producer Progress Energy Resources Corp, said the investment would further increase the state-owned oil company's gas reserves.

He said World Trade Organisation director-general Pascal Lamy had conveyed his appreciation to the country over its active and positive involvement in supporting rules-based trade as well as in helping to kickstart the moribund Doha Round of global trade talks.

Najib said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had 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.

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