The Nation



Malaysia relaxes auto sector curbs to woo foreign carmakers

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia announced Monday it would allow foreign automakers to build smaller passenger cars in the country, a liberalising move aimed at repositioning the country as a leader in energy-efficient vehicles.

The changes, effective immediately, will for the first time allow foreign automakers to build cars with engines of 1.8 litres or less if those cars qualify as energy-efficient.

Such projects will not need domestic investment partners and will enjoy incentives such as tax breaks, Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed told reporters.

"The policies used to be there to protect (national car brand) Proton. But we have opened up the market," he said.


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