Saturday, August 30, 2008

Budget 2009 will sustain growth, says FMM

KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2009 is a welcome package for manufacturers as it provides stimulus to many sectors, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) said.

The association expects the proposed measures to sustain the economic growth. Given the economic scenario, Budget 2009's priority on assisting Malaysians to mitigate the adverse impact of an increasingly challenging external and domestic environment was well placed, said FMM president Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon.

“The emphasis on enhancing the well-being of Malaysians will be good for businesses, as putting more money into the pockets of the citizens will help sustain domestic demand for goods and services produced by the economy,” he told a press conference yesterday.

“Sustained domestic demand will contribute to sustaining activities, employment and incomes.”

The association also felt the budget strategy to develop quality human capital would contribute to strengthening the foundations of growth.

"We are also of the view that the overall emphasis on improving public transport, enhancing use of information communication technology, developing small and medium-sized enterprises and broadening financing for new sources of growth will also enhance the potential for growth in the future,” the FMM said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the reduction/elimination of import duty on certain items will have minimal impact on domestic producers as the import duties for these products are already at 0%-5% under the Asean Free Trade Agreement and by 2009 under the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement.

"Under these agreements, tariff for these products will be at 0% by 2010,” the FMM said.

Import duties have been reduced for dairy products, food items, fruit juices, raw materials for plastics, plastics products and electrical household appliances.

“At the same time, some of these products are also parts and raw materials which would benefit local producers of final products,” Yong added.

However, the FMM said, it would still be necessary for mandatory standards to be imposed to ensure consumer safety and public health as well as to ensure fair competition and a level playing field for local manufacturers.

The FMM, which has been calling for a reduction in dependence on foreign shipping lines, welcomed the setting up of a new RM2bil facility to finance the purchase of ships and upgrading of shipyards.

“The measure, together with the reduction in the import duty to 5% and abolishment of import licence of port cranes, would assist to improve the efficiency of the logistics supply chain and indirectly reduce the costs of manufacturers,” it said.

source: Budget 2009 will sustain growth, says FMM
Malaysia Star, Malaysia