DRB-Hicom & Geely invite China’s automotive suppliers to invest in AHTV, RM32b target

After the signing of the Heads of Agreement (HOA) between DRB-Hicom and Geely on April 1, 2023, to develop the Automotive High Tech Valley (AHTV), a project aimed to become a high-tech automotive city and a regional automotive hub, Proton has organised the Global Investors & Vendors Convention 2023 in Kuala Lumpur. The convention was held today and has attracted over 200 participants.

Among the participants were government agency officials, management representatives from DRB-Hicom, Geely, and Proton, as well as local and overseas vendors. The latter was represented by 42 automotive suppliers from China. The convention’s guest of honour, the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Bin Tengku Abdul Aziz was also present at the event.

The 2023 Global Investors & Vendors Convention provided a platform for potential overseas investors to meet relevant government agencies and potential partners from the local vendor community. Not only that, it also showcased the progress made at the project site itself, the availability of government incentives and prospects for companies setting up new businesses at the AHTV.

When fully developed, the AHTV is envisioned to be a centre for globally recognised tropical-based research and development of high-technology automotive components. The AHTV will also include a research university that will be aimed at expanding the capabilities of Malaysian automotive workers, and simultaneously help Malaysia become a regional leader in education for automotive engineering, information technology, artificial intelligence, and software development.

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The presence of high-technology suppliers at the AHTV in the future is also expected to benefit the national carmaker – Proton. Proton itself is also planning to relocate its manufacturing, research and design facilities to the AHTV by 2026.

Proton Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Li Chunrong said, “AHTV will be a regional hub, but Proton shall continue to have a large presence there as the owners of the project, DRB-Hicom and Geely, are also Proton’s shareholders. Therefore, the company will remain heavily involved in efforts to attract overseas investors to the project, performing R&D activities at AHTV as we further develop our offerings, and creating jobs as we work towards achieving our long-term goals. We also view this as part of Proton’s commitment to being a custodian of the automotive industry in Malaysia as we seek to help nurture, develop, and grow the national ecosystem.”

DRB-Hicom Group Managing Director & Proton Chairman, Syed Faisal Albar said, “The Global Investors & Vendors Convention 2023 is one of DRB-Hicom and Geely’s efforts to attract overseas investment in to AHTV and the country and together, we target to attract some RM32 billion worth of investments towards the project, including what has already been earmarked by Proton. As the shift to New Energy Vehicles gathers pace AHTV will embrace the changing automotive landscape by offering an integrated ecosystem that will help Malaysia’s automotive sector in line with the direction of the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2020, thus ensuring the country continues as vibrant as its neighbours.”

He added, “Concurrently, our combined efforts as well as the strong interest shown by vendors from China will help attract support for the project from the Chinese government, which can lead to even more investments propelled into AHTV and Malaysia. Geely’s collaboration with Proton and their support for the project has already resulted in several investors and component suppliers operating in Tanjung Malim, and their existing high technology ecosystem is sure to play a major role in bringing the project forwards.”

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