KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 (Bernama) -- The government and Machinery and
Equipment (M&E) industry associations will work together to reduce the big gap
between the industry''s exports and imports to produce more products.
"The M&E industry representatives met us today and they will be coming
forward with strategies on ways to reduce the gap.
"Malaysia is still very much dependent on imports, and we will continue to
buy more machinery due to lack of expertise and high technology," International
Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said, adding the country
needs to balance trade for continuous sustainability in the M&E industry.
He said the associations would be meeting with MITI with the proposed
strategies in the next few months.
Five M&E associations and MITI held the third session of this year''s MITI
Annual Dialogue with industry associations on how the Government could help the
industry remain competitive and attractive to foreign investors.
The local M&E industry, comprising 250 companies employing around 20,000
workers, can be divided into specialised machinery for specific industries such
as power generating machinery, metal working and general industrial machinery.
With increasing competition from lower cost producing countries, it is
expected to move away from the manufacture of low-end and low-technology M&E, he
"As students are not exposed to opportunities available in this industry,
the associations suggested that primary students visit factories at least once a
week, to expose them to hands-on blue-collar job opportunities available in the
M&E industry," he said, adding the government would look into the suggestion.
The minister said it is imperative to change the mindset of students as a
skill shortage would affect the currently successful manufacturing industry in
Malaysia if the issue is not addressed soon.
Among other issues brought up were the urgent need to address the "worrying''
skilled manpower shortage, tax, standards and cost of doing business, and