MUMBAI: Indian automotive giant Tata has expressed interest to work with Proton, including selling its world-cheapest Tata Nano in Malaysia.
This was conveyed to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin by Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata during a meeting here yesterday.
Muhyiddin, who had a look at the Nano after the meeting, told reporters that the US$3,000 (RM9,300) car, touted as the cheapest in the world, could even be Malaysia’s very own kereta rakyat (people’s car).
“Tata had actually proposed to work with Proton about seven years ago and he has reiterated this again.
“It’s now up to the Proton management to study this proposal and whether a car like the Nano can be brought into Malaysia.
“Perhaps we can also come up with a kereta rakyat costing about RM20,000, modelled after the Nano.
“However, this needs more detailed studies. We have suggested to Tata to bring a technical team to hold further discussions with Proton and even Perodua,” he told Malaysian reporters covering his five-day official visit to India.
Muhyiddin said that Tata himself would be coming to Malaysia to look at other investment opportunities, including in IT and business processing engineering.
On his meeting with Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited, the Deputy Prime Minister said that the Fortune 500 company was looking at increasing its investment in Malaysia.
“The company has invested RM356.6mil in a textile factory in Nilai. It has now expressed interest in the Greater KL project and also the River of Life project,” he said, adding that Ambani, who is among the richest men in the world, described Malaysia as the best business destination among Asean countries.
Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida) director-general Datuk Jalilah Baba sa id the potential investment would be huge.
Earlier, Muhyiddin also held a roundtable meeting with 32 Indian captains of ind ustry.
He said the Indian investors were impressed with Malaysia’s businessfriendly policies.
“We expect about RM4bil more in investments from Indian companies,” he said, incl uding sectors like oil and gas, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and ICT.
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