KUALA LUMPUR (June 16): British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT Malaysia) has highlighted that the tobacco black market continued to grow despite various initiatives by the government.
In a statement, BAT Malaysia managing director Jonathan Reed said the company was ready to invest its resources to continue tackling this issue.
“However, full recovery can only happen if we are able to work hand-in-hand with all relevant parties to implement effective structural reforms to manage the extraordinarily high levels of illegal trade.
“We encourage and urge the public, including our shareholders, to join in the fight, speak up and support initiatives that will eradicate this issue.
“We believe that if we band together and bring it to light, the government and policymakers will listen and take definitive action to combat this problem once and for all,” he said.
Looking ahead, Reed said for the 2020 financial year (FY2020), BAT Malaysia’s growth strategy will be dependent on the recovery of the legal tobacco market, a regulated nicotine landscape, sensible fiscal policies and a resolution to the affordability issues affecting consumers.
Reed added that legal players like BAT Malaysia are vital to the nation’s economic recovery and growth.
“Simply put, legal businesses contribute valuable tax revenues that can be used towards rebuilding and reigniting the economy post the Covid-19 national crisis,” he said.
At 10.46am, BAT Malaysia shares gained 0.94% or 10 sen to RM10.79, valuing it at RM3.08 billion.