Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir met his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, who also gave his assurance to help Malaysia rejuvenate its economy.-Bernama

TOKYO: Japanese conglomerates have pledged to expand their investments and businesses in Malaysia.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told Malaysian journalists here today that representatives of the 19 Japanese companies that he met in a business dialogue on Thursday had expressed their support for the country and would campaign to get more Japanese companies to invest in the country.

“The Japanese conglomerates were from various sectors, ranging from health to financial services, and all of them have expressed their desire to expand their business, or invest in new projects in Malaysia,” he said after concluding his three-day working visit to Japan today.

On Thursday, Dr Mahathir attended the Malaysia-Japan Business Dialogue, jointly organised by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority and Japan External Trade Organisation.

He met the representatives of top Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, Sankyu, Mitsui & Co, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and NEC.

Asked whether there was any skepticism from foreign investors on the Malaysian economy, Dr Mahathir said they were always positive about the country.

“They look very positive. The ones who are always skeptical are the media.

“They are still saying that we are not doing well despite the fact that the country’s economy is growing,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said many parties had failed to recognise the fact that the Pakatan Harapan’s peaceful and democratic takeover of the government was an achievement.

“Most countries will experience violence. But, here, we’ve done a lot of things, settling the big debts of the previous government, helping Felda and Tabung Haji, and much more.

“The government is also willing to provide financial assistance despite being cash-strapped because much of the money went to servicing loans,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir met his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, who also gave his assurance to help Malaysia rejuvenate its economy.

Abe also raised some international issues, particularly Malaysia’s membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“We have joined but have yet to ratify (the TPP) because we are concerned about some domestic policies which may not be acceptable to TPP, but he assured me that exemptions can be made,” Dr Mahathir said.

Accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, the prime minister left for Kuala Lumpur at 3.20pm local time. - Bernama