Malaysia's mechanical and electrical exports to reach RM43b in 2020, says deputy minister

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Kian Ming speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 27, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Kian Ming speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 27, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The country’s mechanical and electrical (M&E) export is growing steadily and projected to reach RM43 billion in 2020.

International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Ong Kian Ming said Malaysia’s exports in the sector has been growing steadily over the last seven years with a compound annual growth rate of 4.11 per cent.

He said the M&E industry registered RM40.6 billion of total exports against RM73.6 billion in total imports last year, with specialised and general machinery and equipment as the major contributor.

The main export destinations included Singapore, the United States and Japan.

“This is one sector of which our imports are higher than exports due to the advancement of technologies from other multinational companies, hence the need to step up the export,” he told reporters after the launch of Metaltech 2019, here today.

Therefore he said, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) and its agencies such as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority must play a better role in encouraging more local companies to venture into the sector, as well as bringing in more M&E companies to set up their manufacturing plants here.

He also hoped domestic players would seize opportunities from exhibitions such as the Metaltech to establish a network and find potential partners for research and development, and investment opportunities in the growing overseas market.

Touching on Industry 4.0, Ong urged industry players who have yet to embrace the new age manufacturing technologies, to learn from their peers who had adopted it and successfully transformed their manufacturing operations.

He also called on local companies to register with Industry 4WRD Readiness Assessment (RA), a programme under the Industry 4WRD policy that aims to facilitate manufacturing companies to understand their readiness for Industry 4.0.

Ong said the government had allocated RM15 million to assist 500 companies in the manufacturing sector to undertake the Industry 4WRD RA, and to date, about 300 had applied.

Companies which had already undergone the RA could also apply for the government financial incentives such as Business Intervention Fund, Industry 4WRD Domestic Investment Strategic Fund and Industry 4WRD High Impact Fund, he added.

In another development, Ong said Miti would continue to monitor the uncertainties surrounding the US-China trade war to assess potential impacts while encouraging companies to expand the market beyond the two countries. — Bernama

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