Zafrul: Malaysia needs speed, scale to accelerate sustainable manufacturing in aerospace

10 Oct 2023, 12:34 pm

Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz (The Edge filepix by Suhaimi Yusuf)

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10): Malaysia needs both speed and scale to accelerate sustainable manufacturing practices and proactively develop the country’s aerospace industry, said Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

To that end, he said the country needs partners like US jet maker Boeing to share its technology and help make sustainable manufacturing a reality in Malaysia.

Citing Boeing’s 2017 initiative on its 3D-printed brackets for the galleys of its 787 Dreamliners, the minister commended Boeing on its pioneering sustainability initiatives.

“Many still do not know about this, Boeing’s resource-efficient process decreased the water, materials, time and energy consumed while reducing excess industrial waste and lubricants used in standard machining processes.

“I believe Boeing managed to cut carbon emissions, resources and waste to landfills by between 30% to 39%, or roughly US$3 million in construction costs on each jet built,” he said at the opening ceremony of Boeing-Naico Aerospace Supply Chain Forum here on Tuesday.

Tengku Zafrul noted that sustainable manufacturing technology is also synonymous with massive cost savings. “I hope Boeing is willing to share such technologies with its Malaysian suppliers because globally, our chance to quickly reduce greenhouse gases is fast running out,” he said.

Furthermore, he added that the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) aims to make the suppliers within every manufacturing ecosystem to be more resilient through the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030’s mission on economic security and inclusivity.

He said the aerospace industry also plays an important role in advancing the other missions outlined in the NIMP 2030, particularly on advancing economic complexity, embracing tech quickly to foster a digitally vibrant nation, and pushing for net zero. Tengku Zafrul said an investor like Boeing “ticks all the right boxes” when it comes to realising NIMP 2030 targets.

“The NIMP 2030 complements the Malaysian Aerospace Blueprint 2030 on transforming Malaysia into a global hub for sustainable aerospace manufacturing and services,” he added.

The blueprint outlines 41 key initiatives that are expected to generate an annual revenue of RM55.2 billion and create 32,000 high-income jobs by 2030.

Meanwhile, the Miti is hoping for more incentives or allocations for the aerospace industry in Malaysia to be included in Budget 2024.

Tengku Zafrul said extra incentives would help to support and complement the missions outlined in the NIMP 2030 and the Malaysian Aerospace Blueprint 2030 initiated by the government.

“I hope there is an extra incentive or allocation for the aerospace industry and of course, the request has been made and I hope it has been heard but what is more important is that the policies are there to support the industry and any more incentives will definitely help,” he told reporters at the event.

Budget 2024, to be tabled in Parliament this Friday (Oct 13), will be the second budget announced by the unity government.

Tengku Zafrul noted that Southeast Asia has been the fastest-growing region in the world for the aerospace industry to date.

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), an agency under Miti, aims to attract RM134 million in investments for the aerospace industry by the end of 2023.

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