Budget 2017: Manufacturers seek more business incentives

FFMKUALA LUMPUR: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) expects the government to introduce more incentives in the Budget 2017 to mitigate the rising cost of doing business.

FMM Chief Executive Officer Yeoh Oon Tean said in the long run, Malaysia needed to reduce the cost of doing business in order to remain competitive.

He said various factors, including the introduction of minimum wage (on July 1), had increased the burden of industry players.

Outlining FMM’s wish list, Yeoh said, among others, the federation wanted the government to step up efforts to reduce over reliance on foreign workers by increasing business productivity.

“Many quarters have suggested we opt for automation, but before spending money on that, we hope the government will try to do link management first,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a business seminar themed “Responsible Business: Business Integrity Key to Sustainability” here today.

He explained that link management was a technique to cut unnecessary steps, such as labour or material costs, in order to optimise operational effectiveness.

On the country’s manufacturing sector outlook, he said industry players were optimistic that the economy would pick up in the second half of the year (2H16), mainly driven by improved exports.

“For example, the Zika outbreak has spurred demand for rubber gloves. Coupled with the weakening ringgit, we are quite optimistic that the export performance for 2H16 will improve,” he said.

The one-day seminar delves into the private sector’s perspective on best practices in corporate governance, its responsibility, as well as business integrity in ensuring business sustainability.