Local media cited Nazery Khalid, honorary secretary of the Association of Marine Industries Malaysia and head of planning and development at Boustead Heavy Industries Corp, as saying that with the Asean Free Trade Area (AFTA) expanding into other regions such as the Middle East, opportunities still abounded as there was still a demand for new vessels.
“More players are also looking at building new vessels that are more energy efficient and environment friendly due to tighter environmental regulations in the shipping industry. With the government lending stronger support to the industry with the recent launch of the Malaysia Shipping Master Plan, the country is set to become a self-sufficient and internationally competitive nation, that can benefit players along the maritime industry supply chain,” Nazery said.
Malaysia has the opportunities to further develop its maritime economy, with the support of numerous shipyards, ports and terminals, as well as benefit from a prime geographic location, he added.
Local smaller marine industry players saw gradual recovery in the industry as new environmental trends and slowly rising demand boost orders.
“We forecast the deck machinery market for tugboats, barges and land crafts will slowly increase in 2018. For Malaysia, recovery in the maritime industry will be gradual but optimistic,” said Jackie Chieng, director of Siong Ping Engineering.
Gimhwak Enterprise ed Renco Wong expects new building orders to rise this year as new regulations start to kick in. “As a shipowner and also a shipbuilder, our direction is to refocus on shipbuilding as the industry recovers, I believe 2018 will be the start of the recovery of the maritime industry,” he added.