Report on the 33rd MAJECA-JAMECA Joint Conference on 13 November 2014 at Hilton Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak

The 33rd MAJECA-JAMECA Joint Conference was successfully held at the Hilton Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak on 13 November 2014.

The theme of the 33rd Joint Conference was “LEP 2.0 – Japan and Malaysia”.  The 33rd Joint Conference was held in Kuching to showcase the diversity of Sarawak and its vast business potential to our Japanese friends. Sarawak has abundant natural resources and natural environmental attributes that lends itself to the development of business opportunities that can harness these attributes under LEP2 on a sustainable basis.  The Joint Conference was successfully built upon the strong Japanese involvement already present in Malaysia, and in particular Sarawak.  The Malaysian Government under the broad policy of LEP 2 already underscores the support given to the private sector of Malaysia and Japan, that includes the members of MAJECA and JAMECA to further advance its business relationships.

The Minister of Industrial Development of Sarawak, Hon. Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, delivered the Welcome Remarks at the Opening Ceremony.


(left to right) Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MAJECA, Hon. Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Minister of Industrial Development, Sarawak and Mr Mikio Sasaki, President of JAMECA


Hon. Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Minister of Industrial Development, Sarawak delivering the Welcome Remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the 33rd MAJECA-JAMECA Joint Conference


(2nd from right) Mr Mikio Sasaki, President of JAMECA presenting a souvenir to Hon. Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Minister of Industrial Development, Sarawak with (left to right) Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MAJECA, Datuk Seri Mohamed Iqbal, Vice President & Secretary-General, MAJECA and H.E. Dr. Makio Miyagawa, Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia


(left to right) Dato’ Md Taib Abdul Hamid, Vice-President of MAJECA, Datuk Seri Mohamed Iqbal, Vice President & Secretary-General of MAJECA, Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MAJECA, Hon. Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Minister of Industrial Development, Sarawak, Mr Mikio Sasaki, President of JAMECA, H.E. Dr. Makio Miyagawa, Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia and Mr Hidefumi Kobayashi, Secretary-General of JAMECA

A total of 165 participants, representing MAJECA and JAMECA as well as leading private sector companies based in Sarawak and senior Government officials attended the Joint Conference.


Participants at the 33rd MAJECA-JAMECA Joint Conference


Participants at the 33rd MAJECA-JAMECA Joint Conference

Ten representatives from MAJECA and JAMECA, led by the two respective Presidents, that is Tan Sri Azman Hashim and Mr Mikio Sasaki, made a courtesy call on the Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, who also hosted a lunch at the Astana for the MAJECA and JAMECA delegation.


Courtesy Call on (2nd from left) Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud with (left) Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MAJECA and (right) Mr Mikio Sasaki, President of JAMECA at Astana Negeri, Petra Jaya, Kuching


(left to right) Datuk Seri Mohamed Iqbal, Vice President & Secretary General of MAJECA, Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MAJECA, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud and Mr Mikio Sasaki, President of JAMECA


Group Photo – Dato’ Md Taib Abdul Hamid, Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Hamid Egoh, Datuk Seri Mohamed Iqbal, Tan Sri Azman Hashim , Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, Mr Mikio Sasaki, H.E. Dr. Makio Miyagawa, Datu Haji Ismawi bin Haji Ismuni, Mr Jason Tai,Mr Hiroshi Harunari, Mr Hironobu Shikama and Mr Hidefumi Kobayashi

A State Dinner was hosted by the Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak on the same night.  However, due to his tight schedule, the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, The Honourable Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang, deputised the Chief Minister to host the Dinner.  Tan Sri Azman Hashim presented two songs while Mr Kenji Ohta, General Manager of Mitsubishi Corporation Kuala Lumpur Branch presented a song at the Dinner.  A Sarawak cultural troupe entertained the diners during dinner, ending with members of the floor joining the dancers on stage for the finale.


The Hon. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak delivering a Speech at the State Dinner


Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MAJECA sang 2 songs at the State Dinner


Mr Kenji Ohta, General Manager of Mitsubishi Corporation Kuala Lumpur Branch also presented a song at the State Dinner


(left to right) ) Tan Sri Azman Hashim, Dato’ Md Taib Abdul Hamid, The Hon. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numbang, Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Hamid Egoh and Datuk Seri Mohamed Iqbal leaving the dinner venue

The JAMECA delegates visited the office of the Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA) in Kuching and Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone near Kuching the next day.

The Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA) was established in 2006 by the Sarawak State legislative authority with the primary goals of making the international community aware of the opportunities available in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) and to provide them with relevant information to help them make strategic corporate decisions. SCORE’s geographical location is at the heart of Asia and the enormous potential of this region, while attracting and retaining foreign direct investment in SCORE, particularly investments that will be strategically relevant to the state of Sarawak.

SCORE, established in 2006, covers an area of more than 77,000 square kilometres. SCORE has a long coastline of more than 1,000 km, over 8 million hectares of forests, almost 5 million hectares of arable land and peat land suitable for agriculture. The corridor has 1.2 billion of known oil reserves, over 80 million tonnes of Silica sand and over 22 million tonnes of Kaolin of China clay, a key component of cosmetics, ceramics and, most recent, for combat area medical equipment.

SCORE has an abundance of natural resources, including clean and safe renewable resources, such as hydropower, that offers commercial users clean energy at competitive rates. The 2008 – 2030 development plan for SCORE focuses on developing the energy sector and targets 10 high impact priority industries that will complement the development plan and also provide downstream opportunities for SMEs.  As more energy intensive industries establish themselves in SCORE, they will form the bedrock of the SCORE strategy, giving a robust boost to the development of the growth nodes which in turn will require training centres and technical colleges to train the population and create a core of skilled workers thereby raising the living standards of the population.

The participants then proceeded to Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone where they were hosted by Taiyo Yuden.  They were given a briefing by Taiyo Yuden and SunEdison, on their operations and experience of investing in Sama Jaya.  They were later given a guided tour to Taiyo Yuden’s factory operations.

Sama Jaya Industrial Zone


Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone in Kuching is a hub for solar industries.  The Zone is located 9.1 km to Kuching Main Town, 11 km to Kuching Airport, 4.3km to Muara Labuan Light Industrial Park.  The area comprises 813 hectares of prime industrial land, fully serviced with all necessary infrastructures, and offered to investors at attractive low price.



(left to right) Mr Hidefumi Kobayashi, Secretary-General ofJAMECA and Datuk Seri Mohamed Iqbal, Vice-President & Secretary-General of MAJECA having a word with one of the participant at the Joint Conference

The next Joint Conference, the 34th, will be hosted by JAMECA in Japan in 2015.



The proceedings of the 33rd MAJECA-JAMECA Joint Conference are summarized below:


A1.0 Tan Sri Azman Hashim and Mr Mikio Sasaki, the Presidents of MAJECA and JAMECA respectively, made opening remarks at the Conference.

A2.0 Message from the Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Shinzo Abe (Unofficial Translation)

“I would like to convey my sincere congratulations to JAMECA and MAJECA on convening their 33rd joint conference, today. I would like to take this opportunity to commend both JAMECA and MAJECA once again for their contribution in strengthening the economic relations between Japan and Malaysia as a bridge between our two countries since their inception in 1977.

Japan and Malaysia have built a strong and multi-layered bond based not only on people-to-people exchanges through the Look East Policy but also active trade and investment by Japanese companies in Malaysia under the Economic Partnership Agreement.

Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Malaysia has carried out a variety of economic policies including the liberalisation of the services and financial sectors to achieve its goal of becoming a high-income nation by 2020.

Japan, on its part, has also implemented the ‘Japan Revitalisation Strategy’ which is aimed at generating a positive growth cycle for the Japanese economy.

Furthermore, I hope to develop synergetic effects from both policies in order for us to progress together into the future. I had the pleasure of meeting Prime Minister Najib three times – in July and December last year and in May this year. I hope that these meetings serve as a catalyst for further strengthening the cooperative ties between our two countries and build a renewed bilateral relationship that captures the needs of the times.

Last but not least, I wish you a successful 33rd joint conference, and strongly hope that JAMECA and MAJECA will further prosper and their activities reinforce our bilateral economic relations”.

A3.0 Message from the Prime Minister of Malaysia, The Right Hon. Dato’ Sri Najib Razak.

PM Malaysia Letter

B1.0 The Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia (MITI) is the lead Secretariat for LEP 2.0 (2012 onwards), and members of the Secretariat also includes MAJECA and JAMECA.  MITI, through its Senior Director, Datuk Wong Seng Foo, informed the Conference that the LEP 2.0 will be economically-focused, leveraging on business-to-business linkages, enhancing institutional co-operation, development of SMEs and human capital for higher skills-set for the new technologies.  The Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) will be the technology education hub for ASEAN and Japan.

B1.1 The Malaysian Prime Minister had proposed the following focal areas for LEP 2.0 at the 32nd Joint Conference held in Tokyo:



B1.2 Within the focal areas, collaboration with Japan could be enhanced through  investment, trade, technology and R&D, human capital and SME development:



B1.3 Forms of co-operation under LEP 2.0 include:



B1.4 MITI reiterated that the private sector, particularly, MAJECA and JAMECA, have substantive roles to play in strengthening business ties in order to contribute to the success of LEP 2.0.

B2.0 Datu Ose Murang, the Deputy State Secretary of Sarawak, gave an overview briefing on Sarawak.   He stressed that Sarawak is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-language and harmoniously living in unity.  He introduced Sarawak’s geography, history and demographics and further expanded on the Government administration and structure.  The development strategy of Sarawak through sustainable and socio-economic development was also presented.


B2.1 Sarawak’s Development Strategy under the Second Wave of Development 2006-2030



C1.0 Datu Haji Ismawi bin Haji Ismuni, Director of State Planning Unit, Chief Minister’s Department, Sarawak, gave a comprehensive presentation on the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy or SCORE.   SCORE is located in the central region of Sarawak, comprising 70,708 with a population of 896,489.

C1.1 The objectives of SCORE:
a) To create new sources of wealth
b) To move the State’s economy up the value chain
c) To achieve higher per capita income
d) To enhance quality of life
e) To achieve balanced regional development
f) To eradicate poverty

C1.2 SCORE promotes 10 priority industries as follows:



C2.0 Dato’ Richard Curtis, Group Managing Director of Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad (CMSB) presented his perspective about investing in Sarawak.  CMSB is one of Sarawak’s largest listed companies, with 2,000 employees plus 1,562 in its two listed associate companies.  Their portfolio spans over 35 companies involved in cement manufacturing, construction materials, trading, construction, road maintenance, property development, financial services, education and other services with nearly 50 offices across the State of Sarawak.

C2.1 CMSB’s perspective on the appeal of SCORE and Sarawak to Investors:
• A politically stable and harmonious multi cultural Malaysian State
• Strategic Location on the Asia Pacific trade routes
• English speaking
• Common Law based legal system
• Approachable, responsive and business friendly State Government with the financial resources and will to drive private sector investment
• Attractive tax and investment incentives
• SCORE in Samalaju is already operational & not just a political dream
• Infrastructure is in place with more under way
• Ample power available for investors at attractive prices
• Plenty of land and resources available for investors
• Trainable, loyal and competent local workforce becoming available
• Equator Principles compliant power generation facilitates international financing
• Focus is on quality investors
• Strong Japanese investor involvement already
• SCORE is a long term and sustainable growth driver due to its ability to attract manufacturers attracted by the energy available
• Multi faceted nature of SCORE provides both wider primary investment opportunities and many downstream secondary investment opportunities

C3.0 Mr Hiroshi Harunari, Executive Vice-President of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation related their electric vehicles strategy towards a sustainable future featuring Mitsubishi’s electric-powered models such as the i-MiEV and PHEV (plug-in hybrid EV) as well as emergency mobile batteries, Mitsubishi smart grid, EV for agriculture, etc.



D1.0 Tuan Haji Samat bin Junai, Director, Halal Hub Unit, Chief Minister’s Department presented the business opportunities in the agro-food based and halal sector.

D1.1 The estimated annual market size for halal food is detailed in the table below (source: The Third Industrial Master Plan (2006-2020), HDC):

D1.2 Share of halal products:


D1.3 The total annual demand within the country for Halal food is RM1.7 billion a year.  Malaysia aims to be a global halal food hub by 2020 by raising its current global halal market share of 1% to 5% by 2020, capitalising on the edge it has over other Muslim nations in trading, logistics, baking and halal certification.  Malaysia also introduced concerted efforts, strategies and further measures for the development of Halal industry via the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015), Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3) 2006 – 2020, the National Agriculture Policy 1998 – 2010 and the New Economic Model.  The government has also established the Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (HDC) – to reflect the seriousness of Malaysia in pursuing this objective. Various agencies such as Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (FAMA) also provide market development programs to promote Malaysia’s halal products and service.




D1.5 Tanjung Manis is Sarawak’s halal hub, located at the delta area comprising the estuaries of three major rivers. The strategic purpose of the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub is to be the premier integerated halal processing centre with a uniquely “seed to table” potential.

D2.0 Dr Andrew Gung, President of Leave A Nest Singapore Private Ltd, made a presentation on Japanese research, development and commerlization (R,D &C) in the agro-food sector through agriculture/aquaculture/food innovations through science communication.

D2.1 Leave a Nest is a knowledge-based platform venture company with a vision to advance science and technology for global happiness.  The HQ is in Tokyo, with branches in Osaka, Okinawa, America, Malaysia and Singapore.  It utilizes knowledge-based platform to incubate start-ups and other partner companies to accelerate growth.

D2.2 The key projects to development technology for production efficiency improvement include agricultural innovation, aquaculture developments, food evolution – a new system of chain value for agriculture products development of supply system of health functional agriculture products.

D3.0 Mr Takuji Harada, Chairman of the Trade & Investment Committee of JACTIM presented the findings of a survey conducted in 2013 among Japanese companies in Malaysia.  There were issues faced by the Japanese investors, for which they will continue to engage with the Malaysian government for resolution.  The key take-away was the 35% of Japanese investors in Malaysia intended to expand their businesses in Malaysia, while 57% will continue to maintain their operations, with 8% considering down-sizing.

D4.0 Mr Takeo Suzuki, President of Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd briefed the Conference of its  operations in Malaysia.  Formed in August 2009, the company is located in the Samalaju Industrial Park and produces polycrystalline silicon.  This material is used in IC chips and electronic devices as semiconductor silicon wafer and in solar cells and modules.

D5.0 Mr Rushdi Siddiqui, Co-Founder and CEO of Zilzar gave a briefing about its online halal shopping platform for the growing Muslim lifestyle market.  YAB Prime Minister of Malaysia launched Zilzar at the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in Dubai in October 2014.

 Quick Facts on the Muslim Demographic

D5.0 - 1

D5.0 - 2













Mr Mikio Sasaki gave his closing remarks at the Closing Ceremony.

Tan Sri Azman Hashim, in closing, also touched on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will become a reality in end-2015.  Malaysia has taken over as the Chairman of ASEAN – an honour, but also a responsibility for Malaysia to lead and showcase ASEAN in this new era.  ASEAN is a market of 600 million consumers, with a combined GDP of nearly USD3 trillion and is set to be one of the most dynamic regional grouping in the world.

The long standing relationship between MAJECA and JAMECA has grown, blossomed and matured. Going forward, both MAJECA and JAMECA have to look at new ways / methods to grow beyond this “maturity”.

Japanese technology and innovative applications combined with the natural resources and the competitive edge that Malaysia offers, can be a winning formula, not only for both countries, but also for ASEAN and the global market.

The next Joint Conference will be hosted by JAMECA next year.

End of Report.



Newspaper Articles

  1. State wants strong M’Sia-Japan SME tie-up – Tribune Prime (14/11/2014)
  2. PM: Policy to boost Malaysia, Japan ties – New Straits Times (14/11/2014)
  3. Awang Tengah urges SMEs to Look East – Star Metro (14/11/2014)
  4. Syarikat Jepun Melabur RM15 Billion di Sarawak – Utusan Malaysia (14/11/2014)
  5. Sin Chew (14/11/2014)




Speeches and Presentations

  1. Message from H.E Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
  2. Message by The Right Hon. Dato’ Sri Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia
  3. Welcome Address by The Honourable Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Minister of Industrial Development, Sarawak
  4. LEP 2.0 Updates by Datuk Wong Seng Foo, Senior Director, Economic Trade Relation Division, MITI
  5. Remark on LEP 2.0 by Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, H.E Dr Makio Miyagawa
  6. Remark on LEP 2.0 by Datuk Seri Mohamad Iqbal, Vice-President & Secretary-General, MAJECA
  7. Malaysia – Briefing on Sarawak by Datu Ose Murung, Deputy State Secretary (Operation), Sarawak
  8. Malaysia – “Investing in SCORE” from the perspective of a Sarawak investee company by Dato’ Richard Curtis, Group, Group Managing Director, Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad-Richard-Curtis
  9. Japan – Japanese Experiences in Reneable Energy &/or Resource based Industries by Mr. Hiroshi Harunari, Executive Vice President, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
  10. Malaysia – Business opportunities in the Argo-food Based and Halal Sector of Sarawak by Tuan Haji Samad bin Junai, Director, Halal Hub Unit, Chief Minister’s Department
  11. Japan – Japanese R&D in Argo-food Sector by Mr Gung Yeh Tzeh Andrew, President, Leave A Nest Singapore Private LTD
  12. Japan – JACTIM -Mr. Takuji Harada, Chairman of Trade & Investment Committee, JACTIM / Country General manager, Kuala Lumpur Branch, Marubeni Corporation
  13. Japan – Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd – Mr Takeo Suzuki, President
  14. Speech by The Right Honorable Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Haji Adenan bin Haji Satem, Chief Minister of Sarawak

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