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Consistency Needed in 'Buy Malaysia First' Directive, FMM Tells Govt

FMM in the News: New Straits Times, March 2, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Manufacturers have urged the government to be more consistent in its ‘Buy Malaysian First' directive in order to boost domestic demand and curb unnecessary imports.

“By consuming more good quality Made-in-Malaysia products in mega-projects, the private sector and the government can bring about multiplier benefits to the economy,”said

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai.

“We’re not advocating for favouritism, far from that. In fact, we urge consumers not to be prejudiced against Made-in-Malaysia products.

"As it is, there had been unfair instances when more expensive imported goods were favoured over products from local manufacturers even when they are just as good in quality and competitively-priced.

“All things being equal, if our products is good enough for the export market, it should also be good enough for local consumption,” Lim said.

“When more locally manufactured products are procured to be consumed in mega-projects, it would discourage unnecessary imports. That, in turn, would encourage domestic direct investments and also help raise demand for our weak ringgit,” he added.

FMM urged the government to centralise its 24 Ministry's procurement directives of ‘Buy Malaysia First’ which would result in significant multiplier benefits to the economy.

Lim noted Malaysian Investment Development Authority's (MIDA) upcoming Specialised Building Materials Supply Chain Conference 2017 carrying the theme: “Bridging Gaps, Building Opportunities” is a step in the right direction that will significantly benefit the economy.

According to the Statistics Department, in 2016, the manufacturing sector as a key economic driver, contributed RM645.67 billion. Manufacturing accounts for half of the country’s RM1.23trillion economy and more than 80 per cent of RM785.93 billion total exports.

Lim was speaking with reporters today after a briefing on the FMM-MIER’s second half of 2016 business conditions survey here today.

Also present were FMM-MIER Business Conditions Survey chairman Richard Wong, MIER research fellow Elayne Yee Siew Lin, FMM immediate past president Tan Sri Saw Choo Boon, FMM Selangor chairman Datuk Soh Thian Lai and FMM chief executive officer Dr Yeoh Oon Tean.

The latest survey results conducted, of which 370 manufacturers in Malaysia responded, showed sentiment improvement in the second half of 2016 but cautious optimism for 2017.

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