Opportunities for Malaysia to develop maritime economy

Port Klang operator Westport Holdings Bhd's earnings rose 18.8% to RM105.73mil in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2013 from RM88.97mil in the corresponding period a year before.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has the opportunities to further develop its maritime economy, with the support of numerous shipyards, ports and terminals, in addition to a prime geographic location.

Nazery Khalid, honorary secretary of the Association of Marine Industries Malaysia and head of planning and development, Boustead Heavy Industries Corp, said there were still opportunities for maritime players to tap the Asean market with the Asean Free-Trade Area (Afta) expanding into other regions such as the Middle East.

He said even though the maritime industry in Malaysia continued to be in rough waters owing to overcapacity and tight financing, opportunities were still aplenty.

“More players are also looking at building new vessels that are more energy efficient and environment friendly due to tighter environmental regulations in the shipping industry.

“With the government lending stronger support to the industry with the recent launch of the Malaysia Shipping Master Plan, the country is set to become a self-sufficient and internationally competitive nation, that can benefit players along the maritime industry supply chain,” he said in a statement.

Jackie Chieng, director of Siong Ping Engineering Sdn Bhd, which will be exhibiting at the Asia-Pacific Maritime (APM) 2018, echoed a similar sentiment.

“We forecast the deck machinery market for tugboats, barges and land crafts will slowly increase in 2018. For Malaysia, recovery in the maritime industry will be gradual but optimistic,” he said.

Renco Wong, executive director of Gimhwak Enterprise Sdn Bhd, said many companies had adopted digital tools in their ships and businesses to track potential attacks and threats to reduce the risk of piracy attacks.

“We also expect new build orders to rise in 2018 to fulfill new regulations set by industry associations or the local government.

“At Gimhwak, we are also seeing a progressive demand for LNG carriers in the region as companies are preparing ahead of the International Maritime Organisation regulation on green shipping.

“As a shipowner and also a shipbuilder, our direction is to refocus on shipbuilding as the industry recovers, believe 2018 will be the start of the recovery of the maritime industry,” he added. — Bernama

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Business , Nazery Khalid , Boustead , maritime , outlook


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