KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) is optimistic that South Korea will climb up the ranks as among the main sources of foreign direct investments (FDI) into Malaysia soon.

This is because most of the investments from South Korea are in the chemical and petrochemical sector, which is one of the focus sectors under the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP 2030), said its minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He said that of the 11 priority segments, the chemicals segment has been identified as one of the high-impact, high-growth sectors that would contribute to the NIMP 2030 overall targets.

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“The specialty chemicals market is substantial. And there is an opportunity for Malaysia to capture that business by producing specialty chemicals domestically, capturing both domestic market demand and export opportunities.

“Our strategies are also laid out in our Chemical Industry Roadmap 2030, which aims for our chemical industry to be ranked first in Asean in terms of FDI inflow by 2030,” he said in his speech during the launch of the new OCI Holdings regional headquarters here today.

In 2023, the country’s main sources of FDIs were Singapore, the United States, China and Japan.

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Tengku Zafrul said that collectively, since 2017, OCI Malaysia (OCIM) and its joint venture partners have committed close to RM16 billion in Malaysia.

“We value your support in helping us develop greater industrial linkages domestically and abroad.

“We also appreciate OCIM’s latest investments amounting to RM7 billion, which I was informed will be used to produce polycrystalline silicon for semiconductor and solar cells as well as epichlorohydrin (ECH).

“The manufacturing of ECH in Malaysia will strengthen the value chain of epoxy manufacturing, contributing towards increasing the competitiveness of the chemical industry in Malaysia,” he said.

South Korea-based energy and chemical company OCI Holdings has announced the official opening of its regional headquarters here, marking a significant milestone in its commitment to expand its presence in the region.

OCI Holdings chairman Lee Woo Hyun said the new OCI M Sdn Bhd office is located in a thriving economic hub in Southeast Asia and will serve as a pivotal centre for the company’s operations, facilitating closer collaborations with stakeholders, partners, and clients across the region.

Tengku Zafrul said OCI’s move reaffirms the nation’s attractiveness as a preferred destination for foreign investment and underscores the confidence that global companies have in the economy, infrastructure, and skilled workforce.

“It demonstrates our country’s ability to provide a conducive environment for companies to thrive, innovate, and expand their operations,” he said. — Bernama