JOHOR BARU, June 13 — Johor International Trade, Investment and Utility Committee chairman Jimmy Puah Wee Tse today said the state aims to be China’s investment destination of choice in the manufacturing sector by the end of this year following an ongoing trade war between the United States and China
Puah said many companies wanted to avoid tariffs of up to 25 per cent on the list of imported goods compared to the previous 10 per cent imposed by the United States.
“The state government takes this opportunity following the trade war between the US and China, as we found many companies wanting to relocate out of China to avoid the high tariff of up to 25 per cent on US$200 billion worth of products.
“We are trying to close several deals for now. I believe at the end of this year we will see the outcome,” said Puah at the Johor Baru Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCCI) office in Taman Tasek here today.
Puah said the state government has held discussions with several major companies in various sectors through a series of visits to the country since March this year.
“At least 10 companies have been involved in various sectors including furniture, aluminium, water hoses and so on.
“In fact, during the visits, we had a dialogue with about 200 entrepreneurs and companies to explain that Johor is one of the best destinations for investments,” he said.
Puah, who is also the Bukit Batu assemblyman, added that this time round Johor will be focusing more on the manufacturing sector to benefit the state.
He explained that this was due to the fact that the manufacturing sector is most affected by the increase in tariffs.
“There have been inquiries by the companies that are interested in investing here.
“We will help them in locating to suitable sites in Johor and also assist in terms of agency approvals,” said Puah.
He added that the trade war was one of the main factors that companies in China want to mitigate their risk.
“They may think of moving some of the factories out of China. So, why not Johor in Malaysia?” added Puah.
Last month, it was reported that Puah said Johor stood to gain in the ongoing trade war between the United States and China by luring in Chinese manufacturers that will be badly affected by it.
Both China and the United States have been locked in a trade war with American president Donald Trump announcing he would increase tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports to 25 per cent from 10 per cent, which he imposed on May 10.
China then retaliated with Chinese officials announcing they would also increase their tariffs of about 5,000 US goods worth US$60 billion (RM250 billion) from 5 per cent to a range from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.