The Look East Policy has benefited more than 16,000 Malaysians since it was introduced in 1982. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia has been collaborating with Japan since 1982 under the Look East Policy by sending students to universities and institutes of technology there to gain experience and training in many industries. (Bernama photo)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Look East Policy has benefited more than 16,000 Malaysians since it was introduced in 1982.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia has been collaborating with Japan since 1982 under the Look East Policy by sending students to universities and institutes of technology there to gain experience and training in many industries.

"To date, 16,600 Malaysians have benefitted from this programme. They represent an important part of the talent pool that is able to fulfill or exceed the requirements of the business community, particularly of the Japanese companies operating in this country," he said at the Malaysian Nikkei Investors Forum here at Mandarin Oriental hotel today.

He said both countries also have a strong bilateral relationship for over 60 years.

"We constantly nurturing the growth of talented Malaysians by helping them gain the right knowledge and skill sets not just for today but the future," he said, adding that RM4.9 billion had been allocated to implement the Technical and Vocational Education Training or TVET Masterplan.

The Masterplan is crucial to enhancing human capital development in Malaysia in line with the needs of the industry and country.

Also present at the event were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, MIDA chief executive officer Datuk Azman Mahmud and Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa.

He said Malaysia's world class infrastructure facilities and transportation boost is another vital ingredient for healthy long-term economic growth because facilities and logistics help achieve economies of scale and ultimately reduces the cost of doing business for companies.

Najib also said Malaysia was set for exciting things in the next few years.

"The government has embarked on several major infrastructure projects like the East Coast Rail Link, the Kuala Lumpur Singapore High Speed Rail and the Pan-Borneo Highway projects that will definitely be a game changers for our country,"Najib said.

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