Saitama Prefecture, a bustling economic powerhouse in Japan, is venturing deeper into Malaysia’s investment landscape, targeting the halal food and automated machinery industries for potential business expansions.
Governor Motohiro Ono highlighted the province’s keen interest in Malaysia, particularly its burgeoning halal food and automated machinery sectors. Currently, Saitama boasts 20 companies that have established a presence in Malaysia, focusing on food manufacturing, automation, and electronics.
“Numerous firms from Saitama seek to enter the Malaysian market by introducing products and exploring investment avenues,” Governor Ono shared during the “Sedap! SAITAMA: Exhibition featuring food and sake from Saitama” event in Kuala Lumpur.
This economic mission marked the inaugural visit by Saitama Prefecture to Malaysia, with Governor Ono leading the three-day mission starting November 7, 2023, aiming to bolster bilateral economic ties.
Governor Ono engaged with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) to discuss avenues for strengthening bilateral relationships.
“Malaysia, renowned for its rapid economic growth among ASEAN nations, continues to attract global investors. This vibrant landscape is appealing for Saitama,” he stated.
He underscored Saitama’s significant potential contribution, boasting a robust food industry ranked second in Japan for shipped manufactured goods, a thriving agricultural sector known for wheat, vegetables, and sake production, and a dynamic manufacturing landscape with specialized capabilities in various fields.
The governor stressed Saitama’s strengths, notably excelling in the production of noodle products like udon, alongside its famed Sayama tea and award-winning strawberries.
Promoting tourism, Governor Ono highlighted Saitama’s attractions, including the Moomin theme park, Tokorozawa Sakura Town, and the Bonsai Art Museum, urging Malaysians to explore beyond culinary delights.
Meanwhile, Japan’s ambassador to Malaysia, Katsuhiko Takahashi, praised the rising popularity of Japanese cuisine in Malaysia and highlighted the expanding exports of Japan’s agricultural and food products.
In alignment with this expansion, Momotaro Foods Sdn Bhd, affiliated with a leading Japanese noodle producer from Saitama, aims to secure halal certification for its noodle factory in Selangor within five years, bolstering its presence in Malaysian markets.
The company has long supplied supermarkets and Japanese restaurants in Malaysia, indicating its commitment to local production while maintaining authentic Japanese noodle-making techniques.
This move signifies an effort to diversify consumer access to Japanese cuisine beyond the Malaysian Chinese demographic, introducing Japanese culinary experiences to a broader Malaysian audience.