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Chinese manufacturer Beijing Auto International Corporation (BAIC) is said to be targeting Malaysia as a hub in producing electric vehicles for the South East Asian region, according to a Bernama report.

The national news agency stated that BAIC has signed a joint venture agreement with partner Amber Dual Sdn Bhd at its Beijing plant yesterday. Production will reportedly start in July next year at a manufacturing plant to be built in Gurun, Kedah (which is also home to Naza’s plant).

A quick check with SSM at publication time reveals Amber Dual Sdn Bhd was registered in August 2014 and has two director-shareholders – Lina Faridah binti Herman and Muhamad Syariyal bin Herman who each hold 50% of the company.

“Kedah has a fast-growing automotive industry and constantly updating its technology,” said Kedah chief minister Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir, who was present at the signing. “Now with the presence of BAIC, it will further boost the state’s automotive industry.”

Mukhriz added that Amber Dual could be poised to penetrate the ASEAN market – which has a population of 550 million people – with BAIC’s corporation. “With the plant in Gurun, it will contribute to the growth of Kedah’s economy,” he said. “As electric vehicles are the latest technology, we expect that there will be suppliers who will enter the electric vehicle business.”