KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 2): A strong rebound in sales of manufactured plastics underscores the sector’s importance in supporting essential economic sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic, said the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA).
Citing figures from the Department of Statistics Malaysia, MPMA president Datuk Lim Kok Boon said sales of manufactured plastics rose 23% year-on-year to RM38.68 billion in the first eight months of 2021.
"Exports of plastic products increased 21% in the same period from RM8.63 billion to RM10.43 billion. The strong increase was attributed to the opening of most market sectors both local and international," he said in his opening address at the inaugural MPMA Plastech Month 2021 virtual conference held on Tuesday.
The conference, which runs from Nov 2 to Dec 2, 2021, with the theme “Staying Relevant: The Power of Technology”, aims to accelerate the nation’s plastics industry’s progress towards sustainability through the adoption of technology in both business and manufacturing.
The MPMA Plastech Month 2021 focuses on six topics: smart manufacturing, flexible packaging, moulding updates, materials technology, circular economy and climate change, and recycling trends and technologies.
Lim urged the industry to develop the human capital needed to handle new technology and at the same time, continue investing in innovative technologies and processes to move up the value chain.
MPMA applauded the government initiative to further extend the reinvestment allowance (RA) tax incentive for another two years to 2024 for companies which have exhausted their RA period, he said.
"While delighted with this further extension, MPMA would like to appeal to the government to extend the RA with no time limit to support the continuous need to invest in the latest technology for the manufacturing sector,” he added.
Lim also appealed for continued government assistance to expedite the automation process adoption by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) via additional Smart Automation Grant (SAG) fund allocations, as automation is essential to increase efficiency and productivity, as well as to support new operations.
"Budget 2022 has allocated a further RM100 million for the SAG, which is projected to benefit about 200 companies. While this is an encouraging amount, we are of the view that more is needed given the large number of SMEs vying for a part of the grant," he said.
See more Budget 2022 highlights here.