EX­PORTS SET TO BAL­LOON TO RM20B

Malaysia’s pro­mo­tional ef­forts in China pay­ing div­i­dends as ship­ments likely to rise 10pc this year

New Straits Times - - Business - OOI TEE CHING SHAH ALAM bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

MALAYSIA’S rub­ber ex­ports are ex­pected to rise 10 per cent and sur­pass the RM20 bil­lion mark this year, from RM18.12 bil­lion last year, thanks to ris­ing global de­mand.

“In the first quar­ter of this year, we saw a 39 per cent rise in rub­ber ex­ports to RM7.85 bil­lion com­pared with RM5.64 bil­lion in the same pe­riod a year ago,” said Plan­ta­tion In­dus­tries and Com­modi­ties Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

“The higher global de­mand par­tic­u­larly came from China,” he said after of­fi­ci­at­ing at the open­ing of the In­ter­na­tional Rub­ber In­dus­try Con­fer­ence and Exhibition (IRICE), here, yes­ter­day.

Also present were Malaysian Rub­ber Prod­ucts Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (MRPMA) pres­i­dent Datuk Dr Ong Eng Long and Malaysian Rub­ber Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil (MREPC) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Low Yoke Kiew.

Low said Malaysia’s mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tional ef­forts in China in the past few years had started to pro­duce re­sults.

Some 500 in­dus­try per­son­nel par­tic­i­pated at the IRICE, in con­junc­tion with MRPMA’s 65th an­niver­sary.

Mah said the rub­ber in­dus­try had the po­ten­tial to add value by lever­ag­ing on sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tion.

He said a rub­ber glove­maker fa­cil­ity he vis­ited em­braced In­dus­try 4.0 where state-of-the-art fac­to­ries were digi­tised, fit­ted with sen­sors and con­nected to boost cost-ef­fi­ciency.

In­dus­try 4.0, or the Fourth In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion, has the po­ten­tial to trans­form Malaysia’s man­u­fac­tur­ing scene by help­ing to re­duce reliance on labour and keep ex­ports com­pet­i­tive.

The min­is­ter said Malaysia was mov­ing to­wards a knowl­edge­based econ­omy as more man­u­fac­tur­ers move up the value chain.

Mah wel­comed sug­ges­tions on how best to facil­itate more man­u­fac­tur­ers to au­to­mate and em­brace the fourth in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion.

PIC BYROSELA IS­MAIL

(From left) Malaysian Rub­ber Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Low Yoke Kiew, Malaysian Rub­ber Prod­ucts Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (MRPMA) pres­i­dent Datuk Dr Ong Eng Long, Plan­ta­tion In­dus­tries and Com­modi­ties Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and MRPMA vicepres­i­dent at the In­ter­na­tional Rub­ber In­dus­try Con­fer­ence and Exhibition booth in Shah Alam yes­ter­day.

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