Rafidah: Effects of war starting to impact economy

  • Business
  • Thursday, 27 Mar 2003


THE effects of the war in Iraq have started to be felt in the Malaysian economy with some sectors, such as shipping, beginning to encounter higher costs resulting from war risk premiums of as much as RM150 per container, according to International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz. 

She said Malaysian International Shipping Corp (MISC) had reported that costs for the shipment of bulk cargo like palm oil had also gone up, and that shipments were only able to reach Abu Dhabi.  

Cargo to other Gulf destinations need to be shipped by feeder services from there. 

Rafidah said this during a press conference following a meeting between the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) and representatives of the private sector. 

Another sector affected is the local automobile industry, with Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional's (Proton) shipment of 5,000 cars worth RM150mil to Iraq cancelled while 3,000 units heading for Qatar, Kuwait and Dubai remain undelivered. An additional order of 3,000 units to Iran remains uncertain. 

“The ones who will suffer are the local vendors as Proton would not want to buy components,” she said, adding that with so many units for the Middle East disrupted, Proton would have to look to South-East Asia. 

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