Malaysia aims to be the ASEAN green technology hub with the implementation of the National Green Technology Policy, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

He said, according to the Malaysian news agency, Bernama, that the government is on the right track in developing green technology, citing Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index in 2014, which ranked Malaysia 51st out of 178 countries globally and third in ASEAN after Singapore and Brunei.

The index, published every two years, quantifies the environmental performance of a country’s policies.

Mahdzir said Malaysia is aggressively moving towards high technology and knowledge-based industries to remain internationally competitive, and his ministry plans to raise the contribution of green technology to the economy, society and environment in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

“The National Green Technology Master Plan and Electric Mobility Action Plan also aims to ensure more effective and systematic implementation of all initiatives, programmes and activities,” he said, adding that the country is also collaborating with South Korea and Cambodia in green technology.

However, he said, achieving the target will take time as the National Green Technology Policy was launched only in 2009.

Green technology, encompassing the energy, construction, transport, waste management and water sectors, contributed RM7.9 billion or 0.8 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013, he said.

He said, “Investments in these sectors totaled RM920 million, and they generated revenue of RM33.1 billion in 2013”.

Mahadzir said the ministry projects green technology’s contribution to GDP to rise to RM22.4 billion by 2020 and RM60 billion by 2030.

“Investments are expected to rise to RM28 billion by 2020 and RM86.3 billion by 2030, creating 114,590 jobs in 2020 and 211,500 jobs in 2030,” he said.

He said besides foreign companies, several Malaysian firms, including in Pahang and Selangor, are also producing photovoltaic solar panels for the local and export markets, making Malaysia the world’s third largest producer of solar modules.