KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 (Bernama) — The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) targets a four to five per cent rise in exports of electrical and electronics (E&E) products this year.
The moderate expansion is in line with the current global economic climate, Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed told the media after a session with E&E industry representatives.
He said last year, E&E exports hit RM256.14 billion, up 8.1 per cent from RM236.98 billion in 2013.
“Projected investments and growth for this year are quite good as related by industry representatives during their presentation on the industry’s current scenario.
“The E&E sector contributed 33 per cent to total exports last year and its growth was high compared to the overall export growth of 6.1 per cent,” he told the media after a dialogue attended by representatives from E&E industry associations, the Customs Department and the Finance Ministry.
Mustapa said the industry representatives voiced concerns about the effect of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on bonded warehouses, free trade zones, free industrial zones, licensed manufacturing warehouses and free commercial zones.
“Industry players are not clear on the effect on businesses on which no tax was imposed previously, and they want tax exemption, so the discussions today gave the Customs Department the opportunity to clarify,” he said.
He said such issues should be resolved before the GST implementation on April 1.
Mustapa said his ministry will form an E&E strategic council comprising government and private sector representatives to set the industry’s direction, in line with the government’s agenda of adding value to the industry, exploring the rapidly growing Internet sector, and boosting the solar and light emitting diode sectors.
Last year, 96 projects with investments worth RM11.1 billion were approved compared to 118 projects worth RM9.8 billion the previous year.
Foreign investments dominated the E&E sector with investments of RM10.42 billion (93.5 per cent of total investment) while domestic investments stood at RM724 million (6.5 per cent).