KUALA LUMPUR – Five new research and development facilities for the rubber production sector are in the pipeline, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He added that this was a part of the Government Economic Transformation Plan’s efforts to promote the rubber industry, especially in the production of rubber gloves, as a key driver of the economy.
Muhyiddin said Malaysia continued to be the world’s largest producer of rubber gloves, supplying more than 60% of the global demand and he expected the industry to continue growing.
The Gross National Income contributed by the rubber sector in 2020 is expected to rise to RM52.9 billion, of which 56.7% or RM30 billion will be from the glove industry alone.
“The existence and operations of these R&D facilities will create a more conducive environment and opportunities for the business community in the rubber industry to generate investments and reinvestments,” Muhyiddin said at the opening of the Sixth International Rubber Glove Conference Exhibition (IRGCE) 2012 held recently.
The conference aims to provide a platform for rubber glove industry players to exchange information on business and technological developments in the sector.
Last year, it was reported that approved investments in rubber products totaled RM629.5 million, of which 74.4% were in the rubber gloves sector.
Domestic investments amounted to RM538.3 million (85.5%) while foreign investments totaled RM91.2 million.
Last year, Malaysia’s export earnings from rubber gloves was RM9.89 billion, an increase of 10.9% from 2010. Rubber gloves exports from January to March this year amounted to RM4.3 billion.( Source: The Star )