TAPiO Newsletter – April 2019 Issue

DIPLOMATIC SPHERE

China Keen To Purchase More Malaysian Palm Oil

According to Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia His Excellency Bai Tian, China is keen to buy more Malaysian palm oil and the purchase of this year will increase. His Excellency Bai Tian said, “We are keen to increase the Malaysian palm oil trade and we have been encouraging our companies to buy more Malaysian palm oil and related products”. China’s demand for Malaysian palm oil is very large, with a population of 1.4 billion because of its high quality and competitive price. He added that China does not impose a glass ceiling to the Malaysian palm oil and palm oil products. Beside that, China is looking at upstream and downstream cooperation with Malaysian oil palm companies. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia has asked China to buy more palm oil after the new deal on East Coast Rail Link.

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Kelantan to Benefit from Development of 5 Projects.

The Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali announced the federal government’s approval to execute five key projects in Kelantan. The five projects were the East Coast Expressway Phase 3 (LPT3); expansion and upgrading of Sultan Ismail Petra Airport; Pasir Puteh-Machang-Jeli new route; Kota Bharu-Kuala Krai Expressway; and Palekbang-Kota Bharu Bridge. The decisions are in accordance with Pillar Three of the Mid-Term Review of 11th Malaysia Plan, namely ‘Pursuing Balanced Regional Development’, where efforts will be strengthened to address the development imbalances among the six regions. Currently, these projects are being undertaken and implemented.Thus, this development is expected to provide robust growth and improve people well-being in Kelantan.

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BUSINESS

Malaysia’s Goal of Becoming A High-Tech Industry.

In line with Malaysia’s goal to become a high-tech industry destination by 2025, MIMOS and Microsoft have jointly established an Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centre in Malaysia named “Centre of AI for Future Industry (CAIFI)”. Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry (Miti), Darell Leiking announced the partnership between MIMOS and Microsoft during his visit to the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, United States as part of the Ministry’s Trade and Investment Mission. The strategic collaboration signifies the commitment by both parties to accelerate the nation’s shift to Cloud, placing Malaysia on the roadmap to be a digital-first nation as strategize under the National Policy on Industry 4.0. Microsoft aims to provide 15,000 university students with internship opportunities, deliver digital skills training to 2.2 million SME employees, and to hire 8,500 digital workers by 2020 across Asean.

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Demand of Rubber Gloves Estimate to Reach 300 Billion.

According to the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA), the global demand for rubber gloves is estimated to reach 300 billion gloves this year, with an expected annual growth rate of 12%. Malaysia will produce 188 billion gloves and is the world’s largest rubber glove producer and major exporter that accounting for 63% of global supply. In general, due to the improvement of the world’s health care standards and the aging of the world’s population, the global market for the medical rubber glove industry is showing a positive trend but the medical gloves industry more competitive, rubber glove manufacturers are deeply investing in automation as part of their efforts to address rising labour costs and increase productivity.

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Malaysian Talent Pool Is Adaptable.

During the Huawei’s Malaysian Global Training Centre (MGTC), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming stated that Malaysia has a good talent pool that is flexible and adaptable to be trained for different conditions and operating environments. Huawei been trained and develop talent for Malaysia and global operations. Huawei Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Michael Yuan mentioned that Malaysian telecommunication companies has signed agreements with the group to launch 5G plan is a sign of confidence. Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said that the 5G networks’ faster speed will enable more companies to utilise IR 4.0 technologies, particularly the manufacturing sector can gain benefit from this transformation.

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Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers And Singapore Manufacturing Federation Signed MOU.

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to renew their business cooperation agreement inked on Aug 15, 1996. FMM President Datuk Soh Thian Lai stated that this marked the deep commitment of the two federations to further strengthen business relations and promote collaboration between enterprises in both countries. Both federations will exchange information on business opportunities in both countries and help to each other in the events.

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Egypt’s Trade Delegation Visit Opens New Opportunities

A three-day visit by the Egyptian trade delegation led by Egypt-Malaysia Business Council Head Sherif El-Gabaly has paved the way for collaboration between both companies in trade and commercial activities. Egypt’s Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Gamal Abdelrehim Metwally stated the delegation’s visit was positive and beneficial to both parties. During the visit, the delegation had discussed issues in the palm oil, timber, rubber, and tourism industries. His excellency added that Egypt is currently embarking on economic reform plans and large-scale investment projects. Malaysian companies can take advantage of investment opportunities in various industries such as natural gas, construction, energy and renewable energy as well as high potential projects in Egypt especially at the Suez Canal and new administrative town areas. He also stated that Egypt is keen to relink the Kuala Lumpur-Cairo flight route through Malaysia Airlines and EgyptAir.

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MITI is Committed to Attracting Quality Investment

Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Minister Datuk Darell Leiking has a high responsibility to attract quality investors and foreign direct investments (FDI) into Malaysia. Datuk Darell said that MITI need to assure investors that trade will continue as usual despite the administration is changing. Currently, MITI had embarked on Industrial Revolution 4.0, digitalisation, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, advanced automation, and the advent of other new technologies that would change the way Malaysia conduct business and live to raise the bar. The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is aiming to record total approved investments of more than RM200 billion in 2019.

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MOBILITY / AUTOMOTIVE

By 2022, Self-Driving Cars, Buses Are Among 5G Tech Available for Malaysia.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) stated that in just three years’ time, Malaysians can enjoy self-driving cars and buses which are one of many innovations powered by 5G technology.According to Gerard Lim, Chief Digital Officer (CDO), it is possible for Malaysians to start using 5G by 2021 or 2022. 5G technology not only benefits the automotive sector, but also other Malaysian industries including security, agriculture, education, manufacturing, healthcare and media and entertainment. MCMC will be organising the Malaysia showcase in Putrajaya from April 18 to 21 The 5G-related test launched was scheduled on April 18 2019 and officiated by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, while the exhibition for public will be opened from April 20 2019.

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First-ever EV BMW Launched in Malaysia

During the Malaysia Autoshow 2019, BMW Malaysia unveiled the first Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or pure electric vehicle – BMW i3s. The first-ever i3s adds to the premium automaker’s portfolio of “Visionary Mobility” vehicles and strengthens BMW Group Malaysia position as the country’s leading e-mobility provider. The introduction of the first i3s has made a significant contribution to the National Automotive Policy 2014, aiming to turn Malaysia into a regional energy-efficient vehicle (EEV) hub by 2022. With the refinement of the BMW eDrive technology, the new i3s guarantees a locally emission-free drive without compromise driving force and energy efficiency and is estimated retail price at RM 279,000.

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50 Percent Road Tax Reduction for Electric and Hybrid Cars

According to the Deputy Minister of Transport, YB Datuk Kamaruddin Jaffar, the government is giving various incentives to promote the use of green technology vehicles including a 50 percent reduction in road tax for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Ministry of Transport has established a special body named “Vehicle Type Approval” to identify and approve green technology vehicles especially lorries and buses, to reduce the use of CO2 emissions vehicles. There are total 5,403 electric cars and 46,981 plug-in hybrid vehicles were registered as at end of the March in Malaysia with Selangor recorded the highest number of electric cars (2,791) and Federal Territory recorded the highest number of hybrid cars (25,360).

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PETROCHEMICAL

Petroleum Well-Positioned to Meet Rising Demand for LNG

Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) is well-positioned to provide clean energy through its flexible and innovative liquefied natural gas (LNG) solutions to existing and new demand markets, as well as emerging trading hubs. Petronas President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, stated that Petronas has a growing portfolio of LNG supply sources in Malaysia, Australia, Egypt, and soon in Canada. Tan Sri Wan also shared his opinion on the new LNG demand landscape which will come from China’s future energy requirements, limitations in infrastructures of untapped areas in new LNG markets of the Indian Subcontinent and ASEAN, and emerging trading hubs from developed LNG spot markets. Tan Sri Wan added that if both government and industry players work together, these demands can be fully served.

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Collaboration Between Petronas Chemical Glycols Sdn Bhd and Dow on Carbon Project

Dow has signed the agreement with Petronas Chemical Glycols Sdn Bhd to collaborate on a project at Petronas’ world-scale ethylene oxide (EO) production facility in Kerteh, Terengganu. Both Petronas and Dow-company are committed to reducing greenhouse emissions from the operations of Petronas Chemical Glycol EO plant. According to Datuk Sazali Hamzah, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd Chief Executive Officer stated that its participation in the carbon project through Petronas Chemicals Glycols was in line with the group commitment towards improvement in operational efficiency, while reducing environmental footprint. Petronas Chemical Glycols’ facility in Malaysia is Dow’s first customer to use its state-of-the-art Meteor EO-RETRO 2000 Catalyst.

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TM ONE Strengthening its Technological Expertise in Oil and Gas Industry

TM ONE is the enterprise and public sector business solutions arm of Telekom Malaysia Bhd TM. Currently, the company is strengthening its technology expertise in the oil and gas industry to ensure its competitiveness and differentiation in the marketplace. The director of TM ONE oil and gas vertical stated that the company is focusing on complementing the industry with five focus areas which are, operational efficiency, digital collaboration, high performance infrastructure, customer experience, and health, safety and environment. It is a must for the company to go deep into the vertical and understand the business in terms of the actual operational point of view and how digital initiatives can help all segments in the oil and gas space, whether it is upstream, midstream or downstream. The strategy is to look at how TM ONE could be more involved and supportive in the industry, understanding the industry and its challenges and how TM can play a vital role as the oil and gas industry preferred digital partner to ensure that Malaysia remains as the regional hub for the oil and gas industry in Asia.

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Petronas: Supply Steam to Japan’s Polyplastics Unit

Petronas Gas Bhd currently being a supplier of electricity to Japan’s Polyplastics Unit, will also supply steam to them. Petronas Gas, a subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional Bhd, stated that it had inked two sales and purchase agreements with engineering plastics company, Polyplastics Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd (PAP). The supply of steam to PAP, is a new business secured from the Japan-owned company, while the second one is for the extension of the existing electricity supply by Petronas. Petronas Gas aspiration to be a preferred total solutions provider, as reflected by its long-term business relationship with PAP and the other customers based at the Gebeng Industrial Park in Kuantan, Pahang.

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