Sunday, October 17

Rubber product exports to hit RM20 bln target


KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities expects rubber product exports to hit this year’s RM20 billion target due to buying support mainly from the US, Europe, China and India.

Its Minister, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, said between January and July 2017, rubber and rubber product exports rose by 38.5 per cent to RM19.1 billion from RM13.8 billion during the same period last year.

In 2016, exports of rubber and rubber products stood at RM18.1 billion.

He said this was partly due to the decision by some importing countries to switch to natural rubber (latex/nitrile-based) gloves from vinyl gloves, noting that the former were produced in Malaysia.

Mah said this to reporters after launching the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC) Industry Linkage Fund (ILF), themed ‘Enhancing Competitiveness Through Research Collaboration’ yesterday.

He said the ILF was an effort to create a complete eco-system to support the development of the rubber products industry in terms of market promotion, research and development and human capital.

MREPC’s ILF started with an initial fund of RM3 million, to be awarded either as a full research fund or as a matching grant.

The full research grant would be awarded to projects which offer industry-wide solutions, while the matching grant would cater to specific projects that would benefit individual companies, especially small and medium enterprises.

Meanwhile, Mah said for the coming budget, his ministry had sent a proposal to the government to extend the reinvestment allowance for manufacturers beyond 2018.

“We hope it will be extended as the manufacturers have long-term plans for their businesses, and they need some time to implement them,” he said.

Previously, under the 2016 Budget, the government had accorded reinvestment allowance of up to 60 per cent of the allowed capital expenditure for manufacturers for the 2016-2018 period. — Bernama