KUALA LUMPUR (June 23): The 26th International Machine Tools, Metalworking & Automation Technology Hybrid Exhibition 2022 (Metaltech & Automex 2022) will continue to support the government's goal to develop Malaysia's machinery and equipment industry to ensure sustainable growth.
International Trade and Industry (MITI) deputy minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong said as one of the most innovative sectors in the economy, he hoped the machineries and automation industry will remain competitive globally, supported by the government's various enhancement initiatives amid the vulnerabilities of the economy exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Elements of environment, social and governance (ESG) initiatives have also been steadily incorporated into businesses of all spectrum as a growing imperative that can drive long-term value creation, encourage sustainable business practices, and attract more viable investors.
"As such, today’s machineries and automation should leverage technology that is not only focusing on productivity and efficiency but should also lean towards clean and energy efficient solutions," he said at Metaltech & Automex 2022’s opening ceremony on Thursday (June 23). The event runs from June 22-25, 2022.
Lim said the sector, represented by over 2,000 companies with 90,000 workers in the country, has been moving up its value chain by shifting its focus to include areas of high technology producing high-value added and specialised products.
He also said that the government will also continue to pursue high quality free trade agreements to mutually benefit industries and investors in terms of reduced tariff barriers and enhanced trade facilitation.
Malaysia, he said, is currently the leading manufacturer of specialised process and automation equipment for the electrical and electronics industry in the region.
Total realised investments in the domestic machinery and equipment since the 1980s is presently at RM33.9 billion, he said.
Last year, 42 machinery and equipment projects were approved with investments totalling RM1.6 billion, and expected to generate 2,268 jobs, he said.
In terms of trade, macinery and equipment products constitute Malaysia's seventh largest export, representing four per cent of total export value.
Machinery and equipment exports recorded a 25.7% increase in 2021, with an export value of RM49.6 billion versus RM39.5 billion in 2020.
Lim said the significant increase was supported by a rise in demand for specialised machinery to support semiconductor manufacturing.
Meanwhile, Metaltech & Automex 2022 chairman Datuk Tan Chin Huat told reporters that the event was timely because the labour shortage had generated demand for machineries and automation.
"We expect more sales leads during this four-day event with over 20,000 trade visitors.
"Many came to the event early to catch the 'early bird' and have their orders delivered to meet customers’ demand; otherwise, they may have to wait longer due to a shortage of electrical components and manpower," Tan said.
Besides face-to-face meetings, seminars and talks, the event brought together close to 300 exhibitors including those from South Korea, Germany, India, China and Singapore.