ISLAMABAD: Malaysia’s Proton will be setting up its first South Asian factory in Pakistan in a joint effort between the carmaker and its local partner Alhaj Automotive, Channel News Asia reported.
According to Malaysia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim, an agreement was inked by Proton and Alhaj Automotive in 2018.
“Proton felt the potential for its cars in Pakistan is huge, which led to its partnership with Alhaj Automotive to establish an assembly plant near Karachi in Sindh province,” Ibrahim said.
He added, “This is significant because it will be Proton’s first (assembly) plant in South Asia because the population of Pakistan is 210 million.”
Ibrahim further sais the construction of the car plant was one of the important elements of bilateral trade and investment relationship between the two countries as Proton was Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s brainchild during his first tenure as the prime minister. Both leaders he added, would also have an in-depth discussion on efforts to increase trade relations between the two countries.
The announcement comes on the back of the Malaysian prime minister’s three-day visit to the country on the invitation of PM Imran. Dr Mohamad will be the Guest of Honour at the Pakistan Day Parade on March 23.
Moreover, the two leaders are expected to witness the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony of Proton’s plant on Friday.
Speaking about the trade between the two countries, Ibrahim said the two leaders would also have an in-depth discussion on efforts to increase trade relations between the two countries.
Last year, the total trade between Malaysia and Pakistan stood at RM5.91 billion, which was an increase of 2.5 per cent compared to RM5.76 billion in 2017.
Ibrahim said Pakistan is Malaysia’s largest export market in South Asia and the third for import destination. “In terms of bilateral trade, Malaysia is Pakistan’s 16th largest trading partner last year,” he said.