PETALING JAYA: Iron and steel industry players have been urged to work together to improve the value chain and increase local consumption.
International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said such cooperation would require trust, compromise and positive considerations by all parties, whether upstream, mid-stream or downstream players.
“This has always been the Government’s message to the industry, whereby there is a need to balance the needs and concerns of all players.
“I hope all of you can work together to find a win-win solution for the good of the industry,” he said in his speech at the Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation (Misif) 2016 annual dinner at a hotel here on Thursday.
Ong said the last few years had been very challenging for the domestic iron and steel industry, especially due to the influx of imports.
Based on feedback and regular engagements, he said the Government has made several policy changes and improvements to assist the industry, such as maintaining the import duty of 15% on flat products up to 2019 and implementing the duty drawback facility for importation of raw materials to produce finished goods for export purposes.
“The relevant government agencies also stepped up their enforcement efforts to ensure only imports that meet the required standards enter the local market,” Ong added.
While the global outlook for the steel market still remains uncertain especially with the surplus of world steel production, Ong said the entire iron and steel industry value chain has to collectively reflect and rationalise the business in order to be sustainable and resilient.
“I would like to reiterate to all of you again to seriously consider an industry consolidation as well as getting foreign partners for joint-ventures and collaboration.
“The local steel industry must evolve its businesses to produce higher grade and higher value-added products in order to remain competitive and relevant.
“This certainly requires technology upgrade as well as consolidating some of the businesses.”
He said the industry could no longer rest on its laurels and hope for some level of Government protection while industries in other countries were moving up the value chain,” he added.