Malaysia aims to draw foreign investments in EV, carbon capture


Malaysia is seeking foreign investors in high-value industries such as electric vehicles (EVs), semiconductors and carbon capture, according to its trade and investment minister. The country unveiled a detailed national energy transition roadmap (NETR) in August, which sets out initiatives it will undertake to achieve 2050 net zero target.

The southeast nation is long known to be a manufacturing hub and is now hoping to move up the value chain in well-established industries such as electricals and energy.

Malaysia is seeking foreign investors in high-value industries. (Photo: Wirestock on Freepik)

"We need to look at the right kind of investment because some investments do not bring in the kind of spillover that we want," Tengku Zafrul Aziz told Reuters on November 2.

Malaysia is looking at new areas such as carbon capture, utilization and storage because it has a lot of oil wells, and supplying components for electric vehicles, he said.

Tengku Zafrul said that Malaysia has had a strong foundation in electric vehicle and semiconductor industry.(Photo: Tengku Zafrul on X)

According to Tengku Zafrul, EVs are a "natural progression" for Malaysia, which has an established electrical and electronics industry, especially in semiconductor chips.

"That's why we are pushing very hard because we supply many of the components to the car," Tengku Zafrul said. Each electric vehicle is estimated to have more than 1,400 chips.

Even in the semiconductor industry, the nation wants to develop beyond assembly and testing, he said. Malaysia is a key player in the semiconductor industry, accounting for about 13% of global testing and packaging. "We want to move to front end, which is integrated circuit design and wafer fabrication," he said.

The country is also eyeing the aerospace, petrochemicals, digital economy, and pharmaceutical industries for foreign investments.

Tengku Zafrul said he will be meeting with potential investors in the United States this week, ahead of meetings with leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

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