KUCHING, July 28: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) has committed to promote Sarawak’s shipbuilding and ship-repair industry, which it believes has huge potential for further development.
Matrade Board member Datuk Mohammad Medan said in view of the promising potentials of the industry, there is an urgent need for Matrade and Sarawak Association for Marine Industries (Samin) to strategise and enhance the promotion of exports of maritime and raise the profiles of the industry players.
He said Malaysia’s exports of maritime have so far made inroads into markets in ASEAN, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Taiwan and other countries.
The commitment was made by Mohammad Medan during a virtual meeting between Matrade and council members of Samin yesterday. The virtual meeting was part of the engagement series organised by Matrade Sarawak office as one of their active outreach initiatives to Malaysian exporters and industry players.
Apart from addressing appropriate mechanisms to assist SMEs more during this difficult times, Matrade and Samin also deliberated on how to promote the industry better through leveraging on Matrade global network of 46 trade offices.
Dr Renco Yong King Hwa, the President of Samin in response reported that the guild represents a wide cross-section of Sarawak Shipbuilding, ship repairs (SBSR), marine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), naval architect, maritime industry consultant, marine academia, ship classification, marine product manufacturer and maritime related or supporting industries with more than 90 registered members across Sarawak.
Samin’s members in shipbuilding, he said, are capable of manufacturing harbor tugs, landing crafts, patrol boats, floating docks, dredgers and fishing vessels.
During this difficult time, however, marine transport equipment industry is also not spared from the effects of the pandemic crisis.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, Sarawak has exported a total of RM 256.9 million worth of the equipment in 2020, shrank by 25.1 per cent compared to the previous year. Tugs and pusher crafts represented 52.7 per cent share of the total exports.
In 2020, Yong said Indonesia was the major market for Sarawak followed by United Arab Emirates, Australia, Singapore Taiwan and Papua New Guinea.
According to Samin members, due to movement control order (MCO) and lockdowns, projects have been delayed and it is clearly affecting the industry players.
To enhance greater exports of maritime, the latest scope of export facilitations in Services Export Fund (SEF), Market Development Grant (MDG), e-Trade, and Mid-Tier Development Programme (MTCDP) were deliberated to Samin governing council members including information on the upcoming export promotion programmes.
Matrade will be organizing a briefing on Sarawak’s maritime industry’s strength to Malaysia Trade Commissioners of Matrade’s global network to provide better linkages, insights and to stay connected with Samin.
Both parties agreed upon organizing more engagements with other associations, chambers and exporters to assist them in this trying times as well as keeping them updated with the export incentives and assistance provided by Matrade.