Malaysia is expected to attract investments of RM100 billion from the downstream sector using rare earth products over the next decade, says Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof.
Redzuan said the downstream industry includes the manufacturing of electric vehicle (EV) batteries and other digital devices, such as smartphones.
“We have received enquiries and expressions of interest from industry players to invest in the downstream sector using rare earth products in this country.
“But, they need better clarity in the standard operating procedures, despite Malaysia already having relevant laws in place,” he told a press conference after The Future of Rare Earth Industries in Malaysia roundtable meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.
“We want to explore sectors that can use rare earth in order to attract downstream industry investments, but we need to follow the SOP and best practices to safeguard the environment, health and safety in the country, which we cannot compromise on,” he said.
Redzuan also stressed that any country had the right to kick out investors who failed to abide by the law or follow best practices applied in the country.
Earlier in his keynote address, the minister said it was important for the government to ensure the rare earths industry to be fully developed to among others, support Malaysia’s plan of having its third national car project.
He said Malaysia had been striving to be on par with countries like Vietnam, which was heading towards the full-EV era by 2030.
Also, he said, as the United States was the beneficiary of the rare earth’s end products, it was important for Malaysia to continue developing the industry so that it can leverage on their needs and subsequently, increase its exports and economic growth.
Redzuan said Malaysia was currently the world’s second-largest rare earth exporter after China.