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KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is strengthening its cooperation with Japan through the establishment of a framework on creating a sustainable supply chain for the aircraft industries of both nations.
The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) said the two countries today exchanged a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) on the aircraft industry, which is also expected to spur greater exchange of knowledge between Malaysia and Japan through joint efforts.
“The National Aerospace Industry Corporation Malaysia (NAICO Malaysia) will be the main focal point for the MoC's initiatives particularly in engineering and design; aerospace manufacturing; maintenance, repair and overhaul; research and technology; and human capital development,” it said in a statement.
Senior Minister and MITI Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali exchanged the MOC with Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda in a ceremony witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.
Ismail Sabri is on six-day official working visit to Japan, starting May 23.
According to MITI, currently Japanese aerospace investments in Malaysia are mainly focused on engineering services and aerospace manufacturing.
"With the MoC in place, more opportunities in other sub-segments can be explored by both aerospace industry players for mutual benefits,” it said.
The ministry noted that over the years, the Malaysia Aerospace Industry Association (MAIA) has been collaborating with the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies (SJAC) in developing strong industrial relationships between the local players of the two countries.
Companies such as Spirit AeroSystems Malaysia, SME Aerospace and Strand Aerospace Malaysia have been working with Japanese companies such as MHI, Kawasaki, Asahi, Mitsua and Wada on both Western and Japanese aircraft programmes, it said.
"Throughout the pandemic, MAIA and SJAC have been sharing insights and best practices to overcome supply chain challenges, and with the MOC in place, greater opportunities are in the offing for our domestic industries to ride on the enhanced supply and value chains in tandem with the greater cooperation flowing from the growth of the aircraft industry in Malaysia," it added.
One key target from the enhanced collaborations is the adoption of advanced technology and digitalisation that is pivotal to achieving a sustainable supply chain -- where the transformation is necessary for companies, suppliers as well as the service and utility providers.
The MOC will also support Malaysia’s National Aerospace Centre of Excellence initiatives to develop local expertise that are capable to grow the country's ecosystem and support the industry needs.
MITI said the MOC is in line with the aspirations outlined under the Malaysian Aerospace Industry Blueprint 2030 and the Aerospace Industry Framework of the 12th Malaysia Plan.
Both policy documents emphasise aerospace digital and Industry 4.0 transformation, ecosystem enhancement and human capital development.
In 2021, Japan was Malaysia’s 8th largest trading partner for the aerospace industry with total aerospace merchandise trade reaching RM260.6 million, accounting for 1.9 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade in the aerospace industry.
MITI said that with various concerted efforts in implementing industrial development strategies, the Malaysian aerospace industry is poised to contribute an annual revenue of RM30 billion and create 30,000 highly skilled jobs by 2025.
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