KUALA LUMPUR: Small and medium industries (SMIs) supporting engineering activities in Malaysia have been told to upgrade their facilities to enhance their competitiveness and improve quality of production.
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Kerk Choo Ting said they should also source technologies from developed companies to make Malaysia a regional hub for machinery and equipment manufacturing.
There is still a long way to go for the Malaysian engineering support industry to match those of South Korea, Taiwan, China and Japan, he told reporters after the official opening of Wisma Kendek and ISO 9001 award presentation to the Kendek group here yesterday.
Also present were Kendek group managing director Ken Lai Chee Fong and assemblyman for Balakong, Datuk Hoh Hee Lee.
Kerk said these companies should emulate the dynamism and progressiveness of the management of the Kendek Group, which started as an SMI, to help make Malaysia a regional hub for machinery and equipment manufacturing.
He said the government has identified machinery and equipment manufacturing as one of the key areas for growth and development.
With the challenges posed by increasing international competition, Malaysia can no longer be overdependent on mass-produced products and activities to spearhead the growth and development of the Malaysian economy, he said.
Kerk said there was now a concerted effort to diversify Malaysias economy into higher value-added, high technology and niche market product sectors and services.
At present, Malaysia continues to be a net importer of machinery and equipment to meet industrial needs even though local production and export of machinery and equipment have increased in recent years.
Earlier in his speech, Kerk said imports of machinery and equipment into Malaysia amounted to RM26.7bil in 2002.
From January to August 2003, total imports of machinery and equipment amounted to RM16bil.
He said most of the machinery and equipment were imported from the United States, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Singapore.
Malaysia also exported RM11.2bil worth of machinery and equipment in 2002.
Between January and August 2003, Malaysias exports amounted to RM8.1bil, and the major importers were Singapore, the US, Japan, Thailand, Germany and Hong Kong.
Kerk said the government has introduced attractive incentives to promote the development of the machinery and equipment sector. Bernama