COMPANIES should develop comprehensive programmes to aggressively promote productivity as a method to improve their competitiveness against foreign products and services.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said companies should adopt an open mind for the need for greater efficiency to stay ahead in the face of growing competition.
“Among the steps which companies could adopt were setting up benchmarks, identifying weaknesses, implementing corrective measures, monitoring progress and establishing early warning systems,” she said at the launch of National Productivity Corp (NPC) Productivity Report 2002 in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
Also present were NPC chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim and director-general Mah Lok Abdullah.
Rafidah said companies could work together with government agencies or NPC to improve their productivity level.
Azman said the productivity of the local workforce played an important role in attracting foreign companies to set up investments and factories.
“Foreign investors may consider setting up operations in other countries if our productivity level dropped and we lose our competitive edge,” Azman said.
He said many companies did not oppose the wage increase for their workers as long as productivity level improved in tandem.
Azman said companies should capitalise on sectors in which they had specialised skills and advantages.
“We have enormous natural resources such as timber, oil and gas and palm oil which we can develop successfully,” he said.
Azman also urged local banks to continue improving productivity so that they could compete in the global environment.
He pointed out that foreign banks were aggressive in promoting the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to enable them to operate with few branches.
“With ICT, foreign banks do not have to open a large number of branches which are expensive to set up and operate,” he said.
At the launch yesterday, Rafidah also presented prizes to the winners of the Productivity Award 2002.
The winners were Malayawata Steel Bhd, Top Glove Sdn Bhd, B&Z Plastic Industry Sdn Bhd, Masasinar Holdings Bhd and Pan Century Edible Oils Sdn Bhd.
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