The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) co-organised the MIDA-MPMA Conference on Government Assistance at MIDA’s headquarters on 23 November 2022. The Conference was attended by 100 participants. The Conference was organised to provide an insight to participants on various government policies, facilitations and assistance for the manufacturing sector specifically the plastics industry.
The Chief Executive Officer of MIDA, Datuk Wira Arham Abdul Rahman in his keynote address, highlighted “MIDA has proactively taken the initiative to ensure investors to have the necessary access to the right infrastructure, proper facilities and skilled talent to cater to the requirements of businesses. As the plastics industry continues to grow, it is important that companies, particularly the SMEs, focusing on innovation and raise productivity to compete and capture new opportunities. Among the initiatives and assistance provided by MIDA to manufacturers of plastics products include the Smart Automation Grant Industry4WRD Intervention Fund, Automation Capital Allowance (ACA) and Domestic Investment Coordination Platform (DICP). Besides innovation, companies have also adopted automation by leveraging on ACA to increase productivity and address challenges in a tight labour market.”
“Malaysia is committed to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 and for this, MIDA is working closely with MPMA to also drive industry collaboration and understand the demand and supply of recycled plastics resources. Companies should look for practical ways to recover resources where possible and channel them back into production” added Datuk Wira Arham.
Speaking at the opening of the Conference, Datuk Noraini Soltan, Vice-President of MPMA said that the plastics industry continues to face tremendous challenges including shortage of labour, increase in cost arising from the increase in minimum wages and rising interest rates as well as a slump in overseas demand, particularly, from the developed countries which are experiencing economic slowdown.
“Moving forward, it is unavoidable for the plastics manufacturers to shift towards high technologies and factory efficiency to reduce their dependency on foreign workers and low skilled labour. Investing in the latest technology and human skills is one of the options for companies to continue to move up the value chain. The ability of the plastics industry to produce high quality products at competitive prices will strengthen our role as a supporting industry, and in turn attract more foreign direct investments. As investing in high technology and automation is a long-term process and given the fact that 90 per cent of plastics companies are SMEs, continued assistance and support from the Government in the form of grants, incentives and financing is crucial. This will enable more plastics companies to have sufficient resources to invest in advanced machinery and new product development for sustainable growth,” said Datuk Noraini.
At the Conference, Datuk Noraini said that the industry is very fortunate to be able to learn from knowledgeable and resourceful speakers on the various types of Government assistance and facilitations. “We hope that participants would have obtained useful information which will assist employers to formulate strategies to make changes to your business models, operations and move up the value chains via this Conference,” concluded Datuk Noraini.
The MIDA-MPMA Conference on Government Assistance featured sessions by speakers from MIDA, Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRBM), Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF), Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), United Overseas Bank Limited and TalentCorp Malaysia.
Malaysian plastics products exhibited resilience through the pandemic and continue a steady growth due to their properties and functionality as one versatile material despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As of June 2022, 33 projects were approved in this sub-sector with an accumulated investment of RM503.5 million.
Moving ahead, the synergies between MIDA and MPMA would continue for years to come to help in accelerating Malaysia’s advancement in the plastic industry.