Chinese automobile manufacturer Geely will invest $10 billion in Malaysia and turn Tanjung Malim, Perak in Malaysia into the region’s largest auto city, according to Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

He said the aspiration, conveyed by the company in a letter to him on Monday night, would create thousands of job opportunities for Malaysians, state news agency Bernama quoted him as saying.

“I am mentioning this for the first time. Geely, which is jointly producing cars with Proton, has written a 10-page letter to me to inform that it wants to continue to make Tanjung Malim the largest auto city in the region. It will kick off with $10 billion or RM40 billion in investment,” he said in his speech at an event.

Geely Holding Group Co has a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysian carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd, the remaining stake is owned by Malaysian automotive manufacturer and distributor DRB-Hicom Bhd.

Earlier in April this year, DRB-Hicom and Geely have signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) to reinforce the next phase of collaboration between the two companies for the development of the Automotive High-Tech Valley (AHTV) in Malaysia.

DRB-Hicom said then the AHTV will be Malaysia’s next generation vehicle hub in Tanjung Malim covering extensive automotive and mobility solutions value chain, from a fully-fledged high technology global research and development centre to a manufacturing cluster and supporting services and associated ecosystem.

The focus of the HOA is the development of an integrated automotive city that will give birth to a hub for a new energy vehicle (NEV) industry.

AHTV will occupy an area of approximately 1,000 acres and will be expanded accordingly to cater for future needs.

Over the next ten years, AHTV is expected to attract some MYR32 billion ($7.24 billion) worth of investments, including by national car company Proton.

AHTV will also receive direct and indirect benefits from Proton’s plan to fully relocate its manufacturing facilities to Tanjung Malim by 2026.

AHTV will also include a research-based university to nurture new talents and development in areas of new and emerging technologies for the industry and the automotive sector in general.

It will also house a research and development (R&D) center that will provide carmakers with a tropicalized setting to test their vehicles.

With the global trend shifting towards NEV, Geely’s role in the development of AHTV is apt, given the Chinese carmaker’s wide experience in sector.

Geely’s flagship brand, Geely Auto, has launched several NEVs, including the intelligent luxury EV brand Zeekr.

The company has also invested in a range of battery technologies and has a dedicated new energy division which is focused on developing and producing NEVs, and has announced plans to launch more than 30 new energy models across its brands by 2025.

Malaysia’s DRB-Hicom partners China’s Geely to develop Automotive High-Tech Valley in Malaysia