For now, exporters are enjoying the higher dollar

GEORGE TOWN: The lower ringgit, in the short term, will bring some good news to exporters.

Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai said for now, export sales would bring higher returns because of the conversion rate.

“It will help exporters make money right now as when they sell, with the exchange, they will make more now.

“But when it is time to restock on raw materials, if the ringgit value does not increase, they will be spending more money.

“It is good news and bad news at the same time, depending on where you stand and if you need imported materials.

“If you had bought it earlier and had enough for a while, then you could benefit.

“If there is a need to buy now or later, then you lose money.

“Then, despite the short-term profit, whatever you make will be spent.

“Unless your own selling price fluctuates with the dollar, people will have to pay more.

“What we need is to stabilise our currency or start producing things locally so that we do not need to import so many things,” he said.

Small and Medium Enterprises Association Malaysia (Samenta) national secretary Yeoh Seng Hooi said if one were an exporter, the value of the dollar going up would be good right now.

“In terms of export, it is a big plus as they will be getting more ringgit for every dollar collected.

“There will be extraordinary forex profits right now,” he said.

Yeoh said, however, that the weak ringgit is a double-edged sword as importers will pay more in costs, and in the long run, it will be more of an issue of the stability of our currency.

“The purchasing power of Malaysians will go down if this continues, as it will affect their disposable income.

“The price of some goods will go up and consumers will have to pay more,” he said.

Industrialist Datuk Seri Dr Ooi Eng Hock said those who have large stocks of raw materials at hand for now will not be affected but it does depend on the individual industries or companies and their needs.

“For importers, this will impact them as this will eat into their profit.

“It is a matter of how they overcome it. The margin of increase can be small, but it will still eat into their profits,” he said.

The tourism sector, on the other hand, will benefit from the currency drop as more foreigners consider Malaysia an affordable destination.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) national vice-president Datuk Khoo Boo Lim said this will help the tourism industry as those with stronger currencies will make their way to Malaysia.

“We are looking forward to more people coming here to take advantage of this opportunity.

“We do know people from neighbouring countries like Singapore do come over,” he said.

Khoo said that hotels do worry about the price of imported items going up.

“We worry that the price of things may increase due to the exchange rate,” he said.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) Penang director Jonathan Freddy P. Bagang encouraged tourism players to improve their holiday packages to attract people and use social media to widen their promotion range.

“We can expect more foreign tourists as they should take advantage of their currencies.

“It is a good thing for them, especially those from Western European countries.

“They should consider visiting Malaysia,” he said.

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