EXPORTS SET TO BALLOON TO RM20B
Malaysia’s promotional efforts in China paying dividends as shipments likely to rise 10pc this year
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.
(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.