Malaysia’s total exports to improve in H2 2016, says Mustapa

Launching of MSU Community Engagement & Entrepreneurship Project by Dato Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s total exports are expected to improve in the second half of 2016, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

“Ups and downs are normal; we normally look at the longer term. Of course the monthly number is important but we should look at quarterly and half-yearly (figures),” he told reporters after giving out Productivity Champions certificates to 20 individuals and institutions.

The certificate, issued by the Malaysia Productivity Corp, recognises organisations which assist in the formulation of industry-specific productivity roadmaps, including the setting of productvity targets and initiatives for their respective industry.

Malaysia’s total exports for the first quarter of 2016 grew a meagre 1% to RM185.16bil compared with a decline of 2.5% recorded in the same quarter a year ago.

Exports for March 2016 improved slightly to RM66.59bil from RM66.47bil in March 2015, stemming from lower liquefied natural gas and crude oil contributions.

Mustapa said the Government would release the National Productivity Blueprint 2016-2020 in August this year, in line with the country’s vision to improve productivity at the national, industry and enterprise levels according to priority.

“We have chosen the sectors for special attention. The construction sector already has (a blueprint) prepared by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), this is important as the construction sector has low productivity and automation levels, with far too many foreign workers.

“With rising productivity, salaries will go up, attracting more local workers and reducing our dependency on foreign workers,” he added.

Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, public and private collaboration is required to drive the higher productivity level to 3.7% per annum to achieve a labour productivity target of RM92,300 per employee by 2020.

Tuesday’s ceremony was held at PETZL Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s plant in Rawang. PETZL, one of the certificate recipients, is headquartered in France, and set up its sole plant in Rawang in 2009.

The company’s core products in Malaysia are safety gear for climbing and rescue, especially harnesses for sport activities. Its plant in Malaysia is 100% dedicated for export. - Bernama

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