It was reported that Minister of International Trade and Investment Senior Minister Dato Seri Azmin Ali was in talks with Stellantis N.V., one of the largest car manufacturers in the world in terms of sales volume with manufacturing facilities in 30 countries and more than 300,000 employees during his trade mission in Vienna.
In a statement published by the ministry, he further added that the company’s presence in Malaysia will have the potential to nudge the automotive sector towards the production of Electric Vehicles (EV). This discussion apparently centred on how best Stellantis can enhance their investments, particularly, in line with the country’s National Investment Aspirations which promotes EV through customised incentives that include CBU bridging prior to the preparation of the CKD production. While no finalisation or any MOU were cleared, but the fact that our minister is seen promoting Malaysia to the manufacturer indicates of a possible investment by Stellantis could materialise, it all depends how good a salesman Azmin was.
As for Stellantis N.V. the group is a Dutch-domiciled multinational automotive manufacturing corporation, formed in 2021 on the basis of a 50-50 cross-border merger between the Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French PSA Group. It is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands is embarking on electrifying strategy of all the cars under the group which are Fiat, Alfa-Romeo, Chrysler, Citroen, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot and many more.
These bilateral trade mission is important for Malaysia as she looks to recover from the ravages of the pandemic, its nice to see European countries like Austria have become active partners with us and have even increased trade volume. According to Ministry of International Trade and Investment, to date, Malaysia’s total trade with Austria surged by 32.2 per cent to RM1.31 billion (USD319.22 million) for the first five months of this year as compared to the corresponding period last year in 2020, this is all despite the pandemic.
The continued engagement between the two nations will further enhancement of bilateral trade and things are looking bright between Malaysia and Austria, particularly in sectors that will propel our footprint in the digital and hi-tech industries.
Already there are several Austrian companies who have expressed interest to invest in Malaysia, seeing the country’s strategic position as a gateway to the Asia Pacific region. Areas that can be explored include in industries such as smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence, aerospace industry, medical devices, and renewable energy.
Austrian high skill tech giant Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG (AT&S) was one of the biggest company to select Malaysia as its regional destination the first production plant in Southeast Asia to produce integrated circuit (IC) substrates. The projected total investment value is estimated at RM8.5 billion.