A group of upstream companies from the Malaysia Steel Association (MSA) is preparing to invest about Rm5bil within the next three years in an effort to increase and intensify the competitiveness and sustainability of the local iron and steel industry.
MSA president Tan Sri William Cheng stated that “With the support from the government, MSA members will assume investment that involves increasing their capacity, productivity and also, a modernisation in technology and quality.”
The total steelmaking capacity of MSA members is 9.6 million tonnes, which sums up to 81% of the upstream steel industry in Malaysia.
They include the giant steel companies like Alliance Steel (M) Sdn Bhd, Amsteel Mills Sdn Bhd, Antara Steel Mills Sdn Bhd, Eastern Steel Sdn Bhd, Established Metal Industries Sdn Bhd, Kinsteel Bhd, King Hong Steel Sdn Bhd and Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd.
MSA members until now have invested around Rm14.5bil in the local steel industry, Cheng said at the association’s dinner themed “Steel – The Foundation of The Nation” with the International Trade and Industry deputy minister Ong Kian Ming as the guest of honour held here last Friday.
He stated that “To empower our steel industry and the downstream industries to grow and enable them to make a contribution to the country’s wealth and development, we need the support and help of the government to articulate policies to encourage the local industries to grow and compete on a level playing field with the foreign manufacturers.”
The steel industry also needs to invest in human resources for the development of the country as human capital is fundamental for any industry to perform well, added Cheng.
“People need to be trained not only in the hard skills like producing more scientists and technicians to undertake research and development; we also need people to be experts in soft skills who can multi-task, communicate and are familiar with more than one language.