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Malaysia looks to Chinese companies to grow EV sector, says official

XINHUA – Malaysia aims to draw greater investment from Chinese companies to develop its electric vehicle (EV) sector to build up the infrastructure to enable wider adoption of EVs, a Malaysian official said. The development of the supporting infrastructure for EVs is a major hurdle for Malaysia, but the government seeks to overcome this by encouraging companies with the expertise and technology to set up their operations in the country, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook told Xinhua in an interview.

He explained that EVs are a major trend that will shape both public transport and personal mobility and Malaysia must ready itself. “As I said, the trend will come. We have to put in place our readiness to welcome the trend,” he said.

“Our industrial policies are encouraging more EV-related industries to be relocated to Malaysia, especially on producing batteries in Malaysia.

There are incentives in place to encourage more companies to relocate to Malaysia and I was made to understand that there are a lot of Chinese companies who are actually interested to invest in Malaysia in terms of putting their plants here and so on,” he said.

Loke said any infrastructure that is put in place must be done with sustainability in mind and with an eye on integration and interconnectivity, with the drive for EVs being part of the government’s plans to improve the transport sector, which would spur greater economic activity.

“We have many projects in the pipeline, but how do we connect it together and to make sure that it is a seamless connectivity on the network, and eventually, of course, whatever we do, infrastructure must bring economic development,” he said.

“So, we must look at the transportation sector not just as transporting from point A to point B, but more as an economic multiplier effect. It must bring value to economic development.

“It must bring value to that particular region and area that you have that transportation network. So whatever transportation project that we do, we must look at the economic side of it,” he added.

Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook. PHOTO: THE STAR