KUALA LUMPUR: The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry wants local entrepreneurs to work towards a domestic trade policy to stimulate the country's economic growth.
In light of the current world business environment, the ministry has to play a more active role on issues related to development and encourage domestic trade.
We need to streamline our responsibilities for the interest of consumers as well as domestic businesses, minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said when officiating at a domestic trade forum yesterday.
He said the ministry would extend its annual dialogues with the private sector to those outside Kuala Lumpur in Penang, Johor Baru, Kuantan, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching to gather more feedback.
The ministry has formed various committees including the domestic trade council comprising government and private sector representatives to discuss issues affecting domestic trade, he said.
Among others, he hoped the participants would provide input on foreign participation in the wholesale and retailing industry, business opportunities in intellectual property, an international standard business ethics, corporate governance practice, self regulation in certain industries and promotion of Malaysian brands.
He said some areas to be addressed were calls for the Supplies Control Act 1961, formulated during the Emergency period, to be abolished and replaced with the Price Surveillance Act.
Some quarters are not pleased with the Price Surveillance Act as it still allows the Government to decide the price in the market while others have proposed a Competition Act in line with the free economic policy practised by the country.
But some question whether local producers and traders, especially the bumiputra traders, are capable of competing with foreign companies in an open market in the country, he said.
Muhyiddin said there were some quarters questioning the need to invest in factories when the products could be bought at a cheaper price from other countries.
What will happen during incidents like the Iraq war and SARS? The price of the products will rise and this will affect inflation, he said.