FMM calls on SMEs to adopt Industry 4.0 to leverage global market
01 Dec 2022
The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) is encouraging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) to enable them to leverage the global market and free trade agreements (FTAs).
FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said SMEs faced issues such as lacking capital and the size of their companies when trying to adopt Industry 4.0.
“Number one, they are small, and some are micro-enterprises. Their capital is also small, and Industry 4.0’s initial costs are high,” he said.
Soh said Industry 4.0 would also increase production speed and output and enable SMEs to venture onto the global stage.
“When the output is too big, where is the market? Malaysia is too small. So when SMEs venture into it, they are afraid of this issue of market access.
“That is why we are encouraging the SMEs to adopt Industry 4.0 so that they can move their products globally, and Malaysia can sign more FTAs,” he told reporters at the ‘FMM Industry 4.0 Conference 2022 – The Digital Supply Chain’ here today.
Soh said 67.5 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade revenues come from free trade agreements.
Reskilling and upskilling workers
He also called on SMEs to reskill and upskill their workers to improve their production and processes.
Soh said FMM had been collaborating with the government on various Industry 4.0 initiatives, programmes, training and activities for the benefit of local manufacturers, including the launch of The National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD).
Since the policy’s launch in 2018, the president said around 55 per cent of its members had adopted automation, but the rate was considered to be low.
“The adoption rate is too low. Hence we proposed to the government to set up an automation fund for SMEs and an apprenticeship fund from the foreign workers’ levy,” he said.
During the one-day conference, FMM also launched a new FMM business-to-business portal that is a web-based marketplace aimed at creating selling opportunities for local manufacturers.
“The portal will focus on promoting products and services by connecting local and international buyers and sellers through the platform. It is a marketplace for global enterprises sourcing quality suppliers and products.
“Over 20,000 product catalogues offered by 3,650 supplier members from Malaysia,” Soh said, adding that FMM is targeting to list 50,000 products by the end of 2023.