Mitsui has contributed to the development of Malaysia for over 55 years. Today, the Japanese sogo shosha (international general trading and investment company) is playing an important role in both traditional and innovative sectors of the Malaysian economy.
In addition to Mitsui’s principal activity of trade in a diversified range of goods, the company invests with strategic partners in key industries, and has played a prominent role in bringing Japanese high-tech companies to Malaysia’s manufacturing sector.
“We concentrate on growth areas and align our business with new and innovative opportunities,” said Daiji Kojima, managing director, chief executive officer and country chairman of Mitsui & Co. (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. “We have a saying that ‘Mitsui is People.’ Hence, we support our workforce to become global resources and drive Mitsui in Malaysia toward harnessing our local talents in doing business.”
To date, Mitsui has invested more than $4 billion in the country. Malaysia has been developing its health care footprint and Mitsui has, together with Khazanah sovereign fund, been an investor in IHH Healthcare, the second-largest hospital operator in the world since 2011. Mitsui has also invested in Columbia Asia Hospitals and DaVita dialysis centers, with operations in several Asian countries.
The company’s other notable historical investments are in automobiles (national automaker Perodua), utilities (national gas distribution company Gas Malaysia) and oleochemicals (Palm Oleo).
Mitsui’s philosophy is to contribute to nation-building projects, hence the company’s participation in building the world’s largest 2-gigawatt ultra-supercritical turbine power plant, the Jimah East Power Station. The plant is due to be commissioned by the end of the year, utilizing the latest Japanese technology in line with the company’s effort to attract the best of Japanese companies and technologies.
The company is focused on enhancing the infrastructure of the country, such as modernizing airports, sea ports and transportation infrastructure, and is keen to work with strategic local partners in this area.
“We will continue to seek new local partners in addition to strengthening our existing strategic partnerships and remain committed to the Malaysian economy,” said Kojima. “Malaysia is a welcoming foreign direct investment destination and is experiencing strong economic growth in key sectors. With the revisit of the Look East Policy, we want to encourage Japanese companies to reassess the investment opportunities Malaysia has to offer and reinvest with a renewed sense of confidence in the country, the economy and the people.”
Being strategically located with easy access to the huge Asia-Pacific markets, including China, Malaysia is an ideal choice as a manufacturing and distribution center with the added appeal of being a modern Islamic country that has links to the global Islamic markets.