• Madani Sahari

Manoeuvring along new regional value chain

Last week, Malaysia welcomed the delegation from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Led by Minister Miao Wei himself, I echo the sentiments of our international trade and industry minister of such a rare honour for Malaysia to receive a visit from an official of this esteem within the Chinese government.

Speaking at the China-Malaysia Roundtable hosted by international trade and industry and organized by MARii, the MIIT minister talked about the similarities between our two countries, highlighting our aspirations in the development of science, technology and engineering.

He said both countries needed to promote innovation and development, and called for a higher degree of collaboration between Malaysian and Chinese businesses in new technology innovations.

Despite China’s large economic might, the humility shown by the minister and his delegation symbolizes the common cultural values we hold here in the far east, translating into the economic policies and approaches in technological development we see today.

Looking back into history, there have been major shifts in global centers of economic and technological dominance, from ancient Greek and Roman empires shifting all the way to the Islamic civilization a thousand years later.

In modern times, the dominance of the British moved industrialization to a higher level in Europe, spilling over to North America, while the rise of Japan started shifting balance of the global economy towards the east. Today, this shift to the east has also given emergence to the new technological powerhouses of Asia – South Korea and China.

hile the world figures out the intricacies of global trade norms, the shift in global technological geo-positions closer to our region should be celebrated. With a market size that comprises close to half of the world’s population, it creates new opportunities to be part of this new regional value chain in the Far East.

Within the first half of this year, the Malaysian government had already renewed its ties through working visits to the technological powerhouses mentioned above – thus creating new inroads for collaborations and trade partnerships between Malaysian businesses and Japanese, Korean and Chinese corporations.

From the industry perspective, these economies along with Malaysia form the handful of economies in the world that possess full-fledged automotive design, development and manufacturing capabilities.

However, in a fast-moving world, connected mobility is fast the concept of full-fledged automotive economies are also quickly evolving.

As discussed in previous articles in this column, the automotive sector will eventually evolve into the overall mobility sector, where the vehicle is connected to every aspect of our logistics, daily activities, work and school life, and others.

This ecosystem challenges the norms of traditional vehicle manufacturing, sales and after sales business models

However, at the core of this transformation process is the successful shift towards policy that is based on Next Generation Vehicles (NxGV), Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Industry 4.0 adoption.

To create an ecosystem conducive for the local development of these tech, it is key that new tech centres are established, including eco-car assessment programmes, autonomous vehicle test beds, full-fledged vehicle type approval centres, as well as centers of excellence in manufacturing, advanced robotics, internet of things and overall mobility.

As the region develops technologically in this era of connected mobility, it will created new in-roads for a regional value chain within the Far Eastern Region, close to the Asean region.

These new developments are a testament of Malaysia’s foresight in the timely planning and implementation of a renewed automotive direction towards connected mobility, as it paves the path for meaningful participation of Malaysia in the new era or science, technology and engineering.

The key takeaway here is that as the wave of global technological economy shifts our way, it is important that we learn, study and participate along with others who have achieved tremendous success.

The best in the world are who they are because they train with the best on a daily basis.

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