MITI urges plastics industry players to undertake initiatives under Industry4WRD
02 Nov 2021
Players in the plastics industry are encouraged to work with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and agencies in undertaking programmes and initiatives under the National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD) to enhance production capabilities and increase productivity.
MITI senior director of industrial development division Datuk Hanafi Sakri said it is imperative for Malaysia to transform or leapfrog at an accelerated pace and embrace Industry 4.0 as a critical cornerstone to propel and sustain its future manufacturing competitiveness.
“Industry4WRD aims to transform the manufacturing industry and its related services to be smarter, structured, and more efficient through the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. I believe this conference is aligned with the Industry4WRD objectives,” he said in a keynote address at the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) Plastech Month 2021 virtual conference launched on Tuesday.
The conference themed “Staying Relevant: The Power of Technology” aims to accelerate the nation’s plastics industry’s progress towards sustainability through the adoption of technology in both business and manufacturing.
Hanafi said MITI is positioning the chemical sector, including plastics and composites, towards producing higher value-added and market-driven products which would in turn drive the growth and development of other sub-sectors in the country.
He noted that the chemical sub-sector, which includes refined petroleum, chemical and petrochemical, and plastic products collectively contributed 6.1% to the manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2021, with plastic products alone contributing 0.8%.
Hanafi also called on the industry players to keep pace with global trends on sustainability and move towards a circular plastic economy, as the impact of plastic waste and production on the environment, coupled with consumption on plastics, may have contributed to a high carbon footprint.
As such, he said the plastic consumption and production systems need to be more circular, efficient, and sustainable for a longer use, and ready for reuse and recycling to recreate the value until end of life.
He also urged the industry players to be aware of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principle, which has become an increasingly important criterion for inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth.
“Foreign investors are increasingly considering the ESG factors in their investment decisions. It is critical for our industry stakeholders to find ways to improve their ESG practices to score investment opportunities and sustain businesses in line with these future trends,” he said.
Moving forward, Hanafi urged the industry players to equip themselves with the latest developments and technological advancements, either individually or collectively, via MPMA.
Meanwhile, MPMA president Datuk Lim Kok Boon in his opening address said plastics manufacturing is an innovative and fast-moving sector.
“New materials and processing technologies are being developed every year to improve production efficiency, enhance product performance and quality, as well as meet the ever-changing needs of the market.
“Keeping abreast with the latest technological development is therefore a key factor to sustain our competitiveness in the market,” he said.