FMM URGES GOVT TO BRING FORWARD STIMULUS PACKAGE IF 2019-NCOV WORSENS

ZARUL EFFENDI RAZALI

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 (Bernama) -- The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has called on the government to bring forward its economic stimulus package planned to address the US-China trade war impact if the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak worsens the economic situation.

Its president, Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said the federation believed that the stimulus package would help minimise the impact on various sectors, including the manufacturing, tourism and construction that have been affected by the Wuhan virus and support the overall economic growth.

“As China is Malaysia's largest trading partner for 10 consecutive years and with trade growing 8.1 per cent to RM313.8 billion in 2018, the 2019-nCoV outbreak is expected to negatively impact the manufacturing sector.

“Given the close links with China’s global supply chain, export-oriented manufacturers that rely heavily on Chinese demand and those that import their raw materials from China, are largely expected to be significantly affected,” he said in a statement today.

FMM also proposed initiatives to boost Malaysia's exports, including intensifying promotion of buy Made-in-Malaysia products to create robust and sustained domestic market demand for Malaysian manufactured products; and strengthening the capacity and capability of the domestic manufacturing industry, which in turn, enhances efforts to build brand integrity in export markets.

He said that government could also reinstate the brand promotion grant, which was launched in 2003, to develop and promote Malaysian owned brand names in overseas market.

Most importantly, he said FMM calls on the government to set up a budget implementation committee to ensure that all the proposed and approved initiatives and projects in the 2020 Budget, as well as previous national budgets are implemented as planned and where possible expedited to give a more sustained and further boost to keep the economy going.

-- BERNAMA