Logistics, raw material cost make goods in Sarawak more costly – Chong

Chong (second from left) with KPDNKK officers at Pico Food Industries.

KUCHING, Sept 7: Manufacturers in Sarawak are facing problems such as the high cost of logistics and raw materials, and these caused prices of goods in the state to be more expensive than in the peninsula.

Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen said due to business volume, the majority of shipments, including imported raw materials, had to go through Port Klang before entering Sarawak.

“Therefore, there will be a difference in cost of production and sale between Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. This is indeed a disadvantage to our local manufacturers,” said Chong after visiting Pico Food Industries, near Padawan, yesterday.

Pico Food Industries managing director Sim Cho Phong had earlier briefed Chong on why his company had stopped exporting its products to the peninsula.

However, Chong said Sarawak had a demand market — Kalimantan Indonesia.

“This is the positive side. Sarawak has the better edge because of our close proximity. Our local manufacturers can consider exporting their products to Kalimantan,” he suggested.

However, there is an obstacle which Chong described as “certain preferential or discriminatory tax system”, which is imposed unnecessarily on importation of goods by Indonesia.

“By doing so, it will hamper the free flow of trade between the two countries. As far as I am concerned, Malaysia has a treaty agreement with Indonesia to promote trade, and it goes beyond import duties or taxes,” he said.

He gave his assurance that his ministry would work with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to resolve this issue as soon as possible. — DayakDaily