KUALA LUMPUR: Structural reforms and meeting environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements will be among the features in a new plan that will set the course for Malaysia’s economic development until 2030.
International trade and industry minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said the new industrial master plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) will also outline plans to enhance the nation’s economic complexities and to create the right ecosystems for targeted industries.
“The NIMP 2030 will be unveiled in the third quarter of this year,” he told reporters at the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) annual media conference here today.
He said the government will also continue to work on making Malaysia the gateway for investments into Southeast Asia.
On the matter of sustainability, the minister noted that the European Union’s carbon border mechanism (CBAM) is coming into effect this year.
Under CBAM, imports into the EU will be subject to a carbon tax to level the playing field for EU producers. That will mean additional costs to the importers.
“The impact on Malaysian exporters now is minimal given that only 6% to 7% of our sectors will be affected,” he said.
However, Tengku Zafrul said the impact will deepen going forward, making it imperative that steps are taken to engage the right stakeholders now to help local industries prepare for the EU’s strict sustainability regulations.
He said that apart from ongoing targeted trade and investment missions, Malaysia will continue to be part of multilateral free trade agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Tengku Zafrul also said his ministry is “looking into” restarting negotiations for the Malaysia-EU free trade agreement that was halted in 2012.
However, he said, the Cabinet would have to make the final decision, taking into consideration Malaysia’s position in terms of trade and other current issues.
On meeting ESG requirements, Tengku Zafrul said his ministry is already crafting a national plan, dubbed the “i-ESG Framework”, for the manufacturing sector. It is expected to be completed next year.
The i-ESG Framework promises much-awaited support for small and medium-sized enterprises to understand the requirements and to adopt them in their business.
“As the country aspires to become Asia’s investment gateway, the government will also ensure that growth is balanced and beneficial to all stakeholders,” Tengku Zafrul added.