Trade between Malaysia and Japan reached 42 billion USD in 2014, up by 1.4 percent compared to 2013, Malaysian Ambassador to Japan Ahmad IzlanIdris told reporters on the occasion of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s official visit to Japan from May 24-26.

Japan is Malaysia’s third largest trade partner after China and Singapore, the ambassador elaborated, stressing that Japan will continue to be a top trade partner for Malaysia.

Malaysia exported 25.26 billion USD worth of commodities to Japan last year, a year-on-year increase of 4.4 percent, while imports from Japan declined by 2.9 percent to 16.74 billion USD.

Key export products include liquefied natural gas (LNG), electrical and electronic components, and chemical-based products. Meanwhile, imports consist of electrical and electronic goods, machine components, and automobile parts and accessories.

Japan is also one of Malaysia’s top investors, with more than 2,510 Japanese projects worth 22.7 billion USD in operation as of December31, 2013, generating more than 332,300 jobs.

An additional 47 Japanese projects, with a combined investment of 3.26 billion USD, were approved during the first nine months of 2014 and are expected to create nearly 6,880 local jobs.

Approximately 1,400 Japanese firms are currently operating in Malaysia, mainly in the fields of green technology, biotechnology and advanced electronics, as well as the hi-tech and automotive industries.

In addition, Japanese tourist arrivals to Malaysia have been increasing in recent years. Last year, Malaysia welcomed over 553,000 Japanese visitors, a year-on-year growth of 7.8 percent.

Furthermore, approximately 5,500 Malaysian nationals, including 2,250 students, currently live in Japan.-VNA