FMM's Soh warns manufacturers may face downturn in 1Q2023, 10 years too long for 5G infrastructure

Photo by Mohamad Shahril Basri/The Edge

Photo by Mohamad Shahril Basri/The Edge

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 1): The manufacturing sector may face a downturn in the first quarter of next year (1Q2023) due to global uncertainties, said the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM). 

Its president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai has warned industry players to be prepared moving into 2023. 

“The Government must take proactive actions, engage with the industry to come up with the right policies, so that small and medium enterprises can go through the headwinds,” he told reporters at the FMM Industry 4.0 Conference 2022 — The Digital Supply Chain on Thursday (Dec 1).

He noted that the International Monetary Fund had predicted that global growth will slow down next year amid the cost of living crisis, tightening financial conditions, and geopolitical tensions. 

Many countries, which depend on trade with the US, China, Russia, and Ukraine, are witnessing reduced trade with the relocation of supply chains and job cuts, he added.

However, he said trade skirmishes and war are not the only factors dragging down the world economy, but also the European Union energy crisis, high inflation rate, and the lingering Covid-19 pandemic threat.

“However, despite all the challenges, Malaysia’s economy is still considered buoyant and unemployment is considerably low.

“Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded expectations by expanding by 14.2% in the third quarter — the fastest GDP growth posted by any Southeast Asian nation during the period,” he noted. “This highlights Malaysia’s resilience amid the challenging global environment. Growth in the manufacturing sector also improved, supported by better performance of domestic-oriented industries.”

Soh also called on the Government to build up 5G infrastructure within five years, reduce the 4G subscription price, and set the 5G subscription price. 

“From the FMM's point of view, 10 years is too long,” he said, commenting on the Government’s announcement that RM15 billion will be invested over a period of 10 years for the implementation of 5G technology throughout the country.

He added that the Government must provide a stable 5G network nationwide to support the digitalisation of the economy.

Read also:
Manufacturing sector may face downturn next year amid external challenges, says FMM 
DNB: 80% 5G coverage by 2024, not 10 years as FMM thinks