TANJUNG MALIM: The Automotive Hi-Tech Valley (AHTV) project could not only transform Tanjung Malim into a regional motoring hub, create hundreds of thousand jobs and woo foreign investment, but it also aims to be a centre for climate-based technologies, says the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said: “AHTV is aiming to be a research and development centre for climate-based technologies, as there are plans to set up a university research centre there.

“Indirectly, (this would place) an emphasis on the development of electric vehicles (EVs), by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and other latest technologies,” he said.

“Efforts to develop AHTV into an EV manufacturing hub is in line with Putrajaya’s commitment to ensure Malaysia becomes a carbon-neutral country by 2050.

“The government hopes this project will propel the urban industry and other sectors to reduce greenhouse emissions.

“God willing, with thorough planning, AHTV will benefit not just locals (in Tanjung Malim), but Malaysians in general,” he said.

He added that AHTV would also manufacture EVs and components for the Asean region.

“This development will attract the interest of foreign investors, specifically from China, but also from other countries, as it has the potential to strengthen the global automotive ecosystem.

“If countries such as the United States can be proud of Detroit, which is known for its automotive manufacturing, it isn’t impossible that one day, Tanjung Malim can be known as a great motoring hub in this region,” he said, when launching the AHTV development plan at the Proton City Sports Complex here yesterday.

Ismail Sabri said AHTV could generate 370,000 new jobs when it is being constructed and another 160,000 jobs when it begins operations.

“Other developments, such as industrial parks and real estate development for commercial purposes, have the potential to generate RM32bil as a whole by 2030,” he added.

To ensure a highly skilled and educated workforce, Ismail Sabri proposed that Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, which is situated inside the AHTV region, develop a training and research centre called the Centre of Advanced Automotive Research and Training (CAART).

“Equipped with lecture halls, lodging facilities and high-technology labs, CAART can focus on research, skills training, and also vehicle assembly that is relevant to the latest automotive technology,” said the Prime Minister.

The RM32bil AHTV that is set to be developed by DRB-Hicom Bhd was first announced during the Umno general assembly in March.

Also present at yesterday’s launch were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad, DRB-Hicom chairman Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin and its group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar.

Meanwhile, Wan Zulkiflee said in his speech earlier that the AHTV development could inject RM24.5bil into Malaysia’s gross domestic product.