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YBM - ASEAN, 22 Disember 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 (Bernama) — The government is expected to announce measures to further bolster the economy soon following the recent fall in the value of the ringgit, said International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri.

Without elaborating on the measures to be taken, he said they are based on the economy’s still strong fundamentals as well as favourable investment trends and balance of payments.

“The people should place their trust in the government and give space to the leaders based on our past experience,” he told reporters after the launch of the Perdasama Muda national committee here today.

Earlier, he said the government has experience in handling the ringgit’s large depreciation during the 1997 financial crisis, which was aggravated by a massive outflow of short-term capital.

However, he said, the situation this time around is different in that it has been caused by a fall in commodity prices.

He also urged the people not to resort to panic-buying, saying this would hinder the government’s efforts to put in place economy-boosting measures.

An uncontrolled slide in the value of of the ringgit could hurt the economy in the long term, he added.

Perdasama Muda, a unit under the Malay Businessmen and Industrialist Association of Malaysia (Perdasama), aims to raise Bumiputera participation in the country’s economy.

The unit targets 5,000 members by end-2015 and the focus in its Road Map 2015 is on education, employment, income, business and property premises, said its president Feruddin Emir Moehamad Izat Emir.

CYBERJAYA, Dec 16 (Bernama) — To remain relevant in the automotive industry in Malaysia and globally, local automotive players have no other alternatives but to strive and achieve the highest possible competitive ability, said Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said Malaysia’s automotive industry is now facing tremendous challenges due to the continuous changes in market trends, high demand for automotive safety regulations, pressure on environmental policies and demand for lower cost of mobility.

“More critical is the stiff competition between automotive manufacturers in capturing market dominance. It is quite clear that with a combination of successful partnerships between the government and industry, the benefits are mutually exclusive.

“I would like to call upon the industry players to support all training endeavours especially in providing on-the-job training for our new graduate and undergraduate students,” he said in his keynote address at the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) Graduation Day 2014 here tonight.

A total of 3,152 graduates received their Industry Led Professional Certicates and Automotive Industry Certification Engineering (AICE) at the ceremony.

Mustapa said one of the challenges of the local automotive industry was getting qualified manpower.

He also said that he was scheduled to announce the feedback on the National Automotive Policy (NAP) in mid-January 2015 as the policy was already one year old.

The NAP was introduced this year to re-energise the local automotive industry.

KOTA BAHARU, Dec 14 (Bernama) — The government is conducting a comprehensive study on the ringgit’s depreciation, says International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said the study was jointly undertaken by his ministry, Bank Negara Malaysia, Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister’s Department to ascertain the impact of the falling ringgit on the economy.

“We have experts in the government, Bank Negara Malaysia, MOF and EPU who are carrying out studies to determine if the depreciating ringgit is good or bad and if it has a positive effect on the economy,” he told reporters after presenting prizes and BMW cars to winners of a contest organised by Bank Islam Malaysia here, Sunday.

Mustapa said as a trading nation, the depreciation of the ringgit would definitely have an effect and it was necessary for the study to determine its impact on imports, exports, inflation, manpower and others.

“Ups and down in trading is normal, nothing is constant in this world. Sometimes we make profits, sometimes we lose. Sometimes the ringgit is up and sometimes it is down as this is determined by market forces.

“In the past two days, it has depreciated and it will recover soon. This is normal but what we don’t want is a steep and sudden fall as it can have a negative effect,” he said, adding that the economy was still resilient.

Mustapa also said the question of pegging the ringgit against the US dollar did not arise as the move also has its positive and negative impact.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 (Bernama) — The government has decided to impose a provisional safeguard duty of 23.93 per cent ad-valorem on imports of hot-rolled steel plate (HRP) with effect from Sunday for a period of 200 days.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), in a statement Friday, said the provisional safeguard duty was to reduce the effects of serious injury to the domestic industry caused by the surge in HRP imports.

“The final determination under section 23 of the Safeguards Act 2006 will be made within 200 days from the application of the provisional safeguard measure,” it added.

On Aug 18, the government initiated a safeguard investigation based on a petition filed by Ji Kang Dimensi Sdn Bhd on behalf of domestic HRP producers.

The petitioner alleged that increased HRP imports from 2011 to 2013 had caused serious injury to the domestic industry.

The government’s preliminary investigation under section 20 of the Safeguards Act 2006 found that there was sufficient evidence to continue with investigations on the imports of HRP, said MITI.

Interested parties can have access to the public report on the preliminary determination by submitting a written request to the ministry.

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