by FARA AISYAH / pic by BLOOMBERG
A RM20 million fund for automation and green technology has been allocated to encourage local rubber industry members to move towards automation and IR4.0, as well as renewable energy resources.
The Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council which has been renamed as the Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC), said an additional RM36 million fund has been allocated recently to encourage downstream rubber companies to employ more locals, which is expected to benefit some 10,000 Malaysians and will also help to address worker shortage issues faced by the industry.
In a statement, MRC said the name change is more than a rebranding exercise as it will now play an expanded role and drive the growth of Malaysia’s rubber product industry.
MRC CEO Brandon Chan said the rebranding shows the trust placed on MRC to take on greater responsibilities.
“Armed with this knowledge, we can only improve and scale new heights to elevate Malaysia’s rubber industry even higher. We need to look at the rubber industry as a whole to ensure that everyone moves forward together,” he said in a statement last week.
He added that MRC has developed an acute awareness of what works and what does not with its 20 years of experience.
MRC’s wide-ranging business objective will now also aim to strengthen the domestic rubber market, with the goal of building capacity within the downstream rubber industry.
“We hope our latest initiatives will positively impact the midstream and upstream industries through continuous support programmes and activities to the downstream sector,” Chan said.
Apart from strengthening the export and domestic market, MRC will also look at identifying new opportunities for human capital development and the adoption of advanced technology as well as to move the industry towards enhanced sustainability.
The production of natural rubber in the country increased 24.7% in July to 41,801 tonnes compared to 33,531 tonnes registered in June, according to monthly rubber statistics by the Department of Statistics Malaysia.
Yearly comparison of the production, however, registered a decline of 30.4% compared to the same month last year.
Exports of natural rubber increased 17.6% to 45,386 tonnes in July against 38,587 tonnes in June.
The main export destination for Malaysia’s rubber in July was China which accounted for 58.9% of total exports followed by Germany (6%), Finland (5.1%), Iran (3.9%) and Taiwan (3%).