All sectors have vital role to play in NIMP 2030
07 Sep 2023
By SULAIMAN MAHBOB
THE New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030) aims to make the national manufacturing sector more vibrant, competitive and capable, and to raise workers’ incomes.
NIMP 2030 will attain these objectives by advancing economic complexity, enhancing digitalisation, striving for net-zero carbon emission and ensuring economic security and inclusivity.
The enablers for these efforts are the strengthening of the financial eco-system, talent development, ease of doing business, especially for investors, and good governance for the whole country and society.
This master plan is timely in order to overcome the current declining role of manufacturing, from about 28 per cent of gross domestic product in the 1990s to just about 22 per cent now, and to put back on track the growth and share of manufacturing employment, which had also declined.
This is different from the past master plans, which were merely concerned with changes in sectoral production, but did not factor in the issues of environment and inclusivity.
As said by many, a public policy and plan is only as good as its implementation. Otherwise it is just an academic exercise. Thus, the whole development machinery has to be mobilised to support the implementation of NIMP 2030.
As stated by Tan Sri Noor Azlan Ghazali, NIMP 2030 needs a “whole of nation effort” to ensure its implementation.
In other words, all and sundry, political leadership included, have to give their whole support and assume the role of facilitators of the NIMP 2030, a policy which the nation really needs given the challenging global environment and competition for international capital and investment flows.
Manufacturing is an essential secondary sector to support overall economic growth and development, and the structural complexity of the general economy.
If it is properly planned, it will support the primary sectors, promote the services industries, and assist the growth of the nation’s exports.
It can also assume the role as a conduit of technology enhancement and skills formation, especially in higher-income occupations.
Other supporting areas that need to be looked into are the supply of energy and other utilities, making available skilled manpower, and preparing modern industrial sites with adequate housing and recreational facilities for management and the workforce.
The Economy Ministry has a significant role in ensuring that these facilities are included in the five-year Malaysia Plans.
Equally important, is the coordination with colleges and universities to ensure adequate skilled workers and talent.
On this point, I note the interest of Universiti Malaysia Pahang, in particular its chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, who had visited the Malaysian Investment Development Authority to enquire about the skills and talent required by the recently approved investments, in order to assist the university plan and prepare courses and training.
While the above may relate to the functions of Federal Government agencies, state government bodies have equally critical roles in assisting the implementation of NIMP 2030, such as in land acquisition, roads and drains, water supply and solid waste disposal.
Local authorities have vital roles in helping investors in matters related to the location of the factories and their demand for local services, such as roads and clean drains.
The role of state and local governments are no less vital as the NIMP 2030 talks about inclusivity and the need for better environmental management, which are the jurisdictions of local authorities.
The nation from now on should focus more on local level planning to extend the reach of economic development and industrialisation.
We must do this lest the pull of the Klang Valley will continue unabated and dominate even more of the country’s economy.
The writer is adjunct professor at Universiti Malaya’s International Institute of Public Policy and Management and at Centre for Policy Research and International Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia