MALAYSIA: Rubber glove industry players urged to restrategise and become market leader

He said the industry players should be able to effectively re-strategise their business models to stay efficient and become a market leader. "The government has always been supportive of the total development of the Malaysian rubber sector, which has contributed immensely to the social economic agenda of the country. In this regard, special attention and various incentives as well as assistance have been identified and disbursed to the local rubber glove industry in helping develop an efficient eco-system," he said in his keynote address at the opening of the 7th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition 2014 in Kuala Lumpur on 2 Sept. 2014.

Also present was Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Unggah Embas and President of the Malaysia Rubber Glove Manufactures Association (MARGMA), Lim Kwee Shyan.

Muhyiddin said Malaysia last year, exported rubber products worth RM14.5 billion and the figure for rubber gloves was RM10.5 billion. In this regard, he noted that total export earnings of the industry had grown a significant 282 per cent from RM3.33 billion in year 2012. "Today, rubber glove exports from Malaysia accounts for close to 80 % of the total export earnings of the rubber products sector. It is also heartening to note that currently, Malaysian rubber gloves remain competitive, and are exported to more than 190 countries. The country also accounts for 54 % of the global export value of USD 6.2 billion," he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said these positive developments in the local rubber glove industry complemented the government's social and economic prosperity agenda. "I have been informed that annual productivity per worker in the sector has increased from 500,000 gloves in 1998 to 2.6 million in 2014. Concurrent with the increase in productivity, export earnings per worker has also increased from RM51,000 in 1993 to RM265,000 per year in 2013," he added. Muhyiddin also said the industry in 2014 is on track to provide employment to more than 41,000 workers.

Meanwhile, Lim in his opening speech said MARGMA is optimistic that demand for rubber gloves will continue to grow at between 8 - 12 %. "At this rate, we forecast the demand for rubber gloves will exceed 300 billion pieces in less than 10 years or before 2020," he added.

The three-day 7th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition themed, Beyond Just Infection Control, showcases 104 companies from various glove related and supporting industries from 25 countries from Europe, Asia and North and South America. The event aims to serve as a platform for all stakeholders, including regulators, to exchange ideas such as improvements in processing technologies, product innovation, green technology and other new advances in technologies related to product manufacturing.

Source: "Bernama” (National News Agency of Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur; 2 Sept 2014
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)