There is vast potential for the rubber-based industry in the country to grow, says minister
by ANIS HAZIM / Pic by BERNAMA
MALAYSIA’S overall rubber and rubber products exports are expected to double this year to RM140 billion from RM71 billion in 2021 on higher volumes and prices.
Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the country’s overall exports of rubber and rubber products increased by 44.3% to RM71 billion in 2021 from RM49.2 billion in 2020.
“We foresee the potential of doubling what we achieved in 2021 or RM140 billion of export value in 2022,” Zuraida said at the Malaysia International Rubber Industry Convention and Expo 2022 yesterday.
The minister said there is vast potential for the rubber-based industry in the country to grow in terms of value addition, employment generation, technological advancement, quality enhancement and export value.
One of the main reasons for the strong growth of the Malaysian rubber industry has been the complementary growth of various parts of the value chain, especially the producing and consuming sectors, she said.
The tyre industry for example has put in an encouraging performance last year. Exports of tyres increased by 30.5% to RM1.7 billion in 2021 compared to RM1.3 billion in 2020.
“Industrial rubber goods which include items used in automotive, mining and constructions, showed a 40% growth in 2021 compared to the previous year,” Zuraida said.
The diversification of exports to include high-value goods will further improve the export performance of dry rubber products as well as boost the consumption of rubber locally, she added.
The minister noted the issues of forced labour have plagued the domestic rubber industry much like the oil palm industry.
“We are trying our very best to assist the industry to address the forced labour claims. This is something that we have to rectify — we have to engage and communicate with foreign parties to make sure they don’t make wrong allegations on our industry because it will jeopardise our global performance and our global,” the minister explained.
Zuraida said the MPIC is meeting up with the Ministry of Human Resources (MoHR) and the Ministry of Home Affairs to look into the request for more labour.
She said Malaysia has implemented the Foreign Workers Centralised Management System under the MoHR that will help to eradicate any labour abuse in the country.
As of now, Malaysia has not yet informed the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regarding the implementation of FWCS, however, Zuraida assured that MPIC, along with MoHR, will notify the WTO once the system is upgraded.