THURSDAY, 1 JUNE 2017, PUTRAJAYA: The National Export Council (NEC) at its second meeting this year urged Malaysian contractors and service providers to increase the procurement of Malaysian products and services for their overseas projects to help accelerate Malaysia’s exports. The meeting took place today at the Prime Minister’s Office.
To date, 54 projects owned by Malaysian companies or involve Malaysian establishments are taking shape in 16 countries with a value of RM109.71 billion, but only 10 are utilising Malaysian products and services. The total value of products and services sourced from Malaysia for the 10 projects is RM256.50 million or a mere 0.2% of the projects’ worth. The projects are spread across Europe, ASEAN, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. These projects range from mixed development, construction, structural steel works and fabrication, expressway to engineering services.
In an effort to push for the usage of local content by Malaysian companies in projects overseas, a number of incentives through various initiatives have been introduced. This includes facilitative SMELarge Corp Partnership Programme by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE). Partial reimbursement of logistic cost for sending local products or equipment abroad and support for providing services to projects overseas are also available through the programmes. Through the assistance programmes, the Government aims to see more Malaysian projects overseas utilising Malaysian resources.
The Council also agreed that Malaysian construction companies with projects overseas should increase utilisation of more Malaysian services and goods for their projects. The Council also decided that investment incentives be reviewed to discourage employment of foreign workers while ensuring incentives bring better returns to the Malaysian economy in terms of high-value added exports, creation of high-income jobs and support development of smaller Malaysian enterprises.
The Council, chaired by the Prime Minister of Malaysia YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, also discussed Malaysia’s participation in world’s iconic programmes in ASEAN, China, Japan and the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region to promote Malaysian capabilities in sectors such as manufacturing, aerospace, gaming, creative content, medical and healthcare as well as capacity building programmes for Malaysian exporters. These initiatives are to be spearheaded by MATRADE.
In addition, the Council has deliberated on the efforts in strengthening the market share of Malaysian palm oil globally. Malaysia is the second largest palm oil producer in the world after Indonesia, contributing 29.4% of world production of oil palm - equivalent to 17.32 million tonnes in 2016. In 2016, Malaysia’s exports of palm oil and palm-based products stood at RM67.58 billion. Among the issues discussed on the palm oil sector were strengthening palm oil exports by focusing on specific initiatives based on markets in China, India, European Union and Asia Pacific, branding of Malaysian palm oil through Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) and addressing barriers to palm oil exports.
The NEC was established in December 2014 and meets once every quarter. It is tasked with formulating strategies to drive Malaysia’s exports and to chart the way forward for Malaysia as a world’s competitive trading nation. Malaysia is the world’s top 24th trading nation and the world’s top 23rd exporting nation. Malaysian products are currently being exported to more than 200 countries worldwide and are sought after due to their high quality, compliance to international standards and product diversification ability, among many other factors.