Strengthening TVET, halal industry focus of DPM Zahid’s visit to Japan

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TOKYO, Feb 17 ― Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s seven-day working visit to Japan from today will focus on strengthening the national Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) agenda and solidifying Malaysia’s position as a hub in the global halal industry.

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This first visit by Ahmad Zahid since his appointment as deputy prime minister under the administration of the Madani government in December 2022, clearly reflects Malaysia’s priority in both fields, which have broad international markets.

Speaking to Malaysian journalists here, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Malaysia in Tokyo, Anwar Udzir, said the visit was set to enhance the status of technical and vocational training in the country.

“The visit is also expected to provide many opportunities for Malaysian companies interested in venturing into and collaborating with companies here in the halal industry in Japan,” he said, adding that the understanding of the halal sector in Japan can still be developed.

Ahmad Zahid, who is scheduled to arrive here tonight, is expected to attend several events in Tokyo and Osaka.

Tomorrow (February 18), Anwar said that Ahmad Zahid, who is also minister of Rural and Regional Development, will meet with Malaysian students and diaspora.

He will also be conferred an Honorary Degree from Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), Tokyo in recognition of his contribution to the strengthening of Malaysia-Japan technical education cooperation and effort in uplifting TVET.

Ahmad Zahid is also scheduled to hold a discussion with Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan Masahito Moriyama.

“During the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the chairman of the National TVET Council, will be briefed on Japan’s TVET management and policies. The meeting and briefing are in line with the goal of formulating the National TVET Policy expected to be launched in June,” said Anwar.

He also announced that Ahmad Zahid will receive the appointment letter as the president of the Malaysia branch of the Organisation for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) International, which is an international organisation focusing on promoting international cooperation in various fields.

Ahmad Zahid is also scheduled to visit the National Institute of Technology, Tokyo College (Tokyo KOSEN) to gain valuable insights into Japan’s exemplary TVET system as well as the NEC Super Tower.

He will witness the signing of the Collaboration Agreement on Innovation Partnership between MyDIGITAL Corporation and Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation in the application of big data technology.

While in Osaka, Deputy Prime Minister is slated to attend a business engagement with the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) as well as the Roundtable Session: ‘Connecting Halal Ecosystem Between Malaysia and Japan to Enhance Trade, Investment and Quality Employment’.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Malaysian Halal Council chairman, will also undertake a site visit to Sanda Shokuniku Kosha Co., Ltd to observe the operation of the Japanese slaughterhouse in the production and supply of halal beef.

Meanwhile, Wisma Putra in a statement said that this working visit is the first high-level engagement between both countries since the elevation of Malaysia-Japan bilateral relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in December 2023.

“It underscores the commitment to strengthening ties and fostering cooperation in various sectors for the mutual benefit of both countries,” it said.

For nine successive years since 2015, Japan has been Malaysia’s fourth-largest trading partner globally.

In 2023, trade with Japan was valued at RM156.64 billion (US$34.39 billion), contributing 5.9 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade.

As of June 2023, a total of 2,778 projects by Japanese companies have been implemented in Malaysia, with investments amounting to RM91.89 billion (US$27.43 billion), providing jobs to 337,758 people.

Ahmad Zahid will be accompanied by Minister of Higher Education Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) chairman Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, senior officials of the relevant ministries and agencies as well as representatives from the institutes of higher education. ― Bernama



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