Mustapa hoping for some concrete proposals for ministers to consider during APEC meeting in Vietnam
By FARA AISYAH / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
Malaysia is working closely with 10 other countries and remains open on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
Mustapa said a chief negotiators’ meeting was held in Tokyo on Sunday, where he hoped that some concrete proposals will be made before the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.
“I hope the meeting in Tokyo would result in some concrete proposals for the ministers to consider during the APEC meeting that will be held in Vietnam, about two weeks from now.
“For the moment, Malaysia is adopting an open attitude and we have been working closely with the other 10 countries,” Mustapa told reporters at the sidelines of the National Supply Chain Conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
At the conference, the minister urged local industry players, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to step up their game by engaging or working together with multinational companies (MNCs).
“As we continue to work hard to sustain our competitiveness, it is of paramount importance for the local industry players, particularly the SMEs, to step up their game.
“I would like to encourage our local companies and SMEs to explore every possible opportunity to engage with MNCs. In the same manner, I also urge MNCs and industry players to leverage on this expanding local supply chain and create greater spillover benefits for your operations as well as the local business community,” Mustapa said in his keynote address.
As the government puts in place its initiatives through various plans and strategies, it urges industry players to collaborate for a strong, inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic growth for Malaysia.
Mustapa commended the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) for undertaking the task of connecting MNCs and SMEs in the east coast, northern and southern regions of the country, before finally going to East Malaysia.
The National Supply Chain Conference series was first held in December last year.
Mustapa said each of these events was attended by more than 400 participants and this has created 171 potential business linkages. It summed up to 87% of the total business matching meetings that were arranged.
Mida CEO Datuk Azman Mahmud said the scope of collaborations and outsourcing activities covers supply of parts/components/ raw materials, logistic, warehousing and shipping services, engineering-related services, packaging services, IT-related services, maintenance services and supply of machinery and equipment.
“In fact, this has led to the exchange of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) today between local players and other anchor companies that have finalised their potential business linkages.”
The exchange of the MoUs involved Penang Automotion Cluster Sdn Bhd, Mercury Precision Components Sdn Bhd, Hock Teng Engineering Works Sdn Bhd, Allstar Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, ViTrox Technologies Sdn Bhd and Nationgate Solution (M) Sdn Bhd.
“These collaborations are expected to contribute to the development of Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing in Malaysia through the sharing of information, ideas and best practices and benchmarking information among others,” Azman added.
Notably, the collaboration between ViTrox and Nationgate is expected to achieve at least 30% down-time improvement through the adoption of the V-One Smart Manufacturing Platform.