YB DATO’ MUKHRIZ MAHATHIR
DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY
OFFICIATING BMW CONCEPT CARS
18 JANUARY 2012 (WEDENESDAY)
PAVILLION, KUALA LUMPUR
Assalamualaikum W.B.T, Good Morning and Salam 1Malaysia.
Mr. Geoffrey Briscoe,
Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia;
Members of the Press;
1. First of all I would like to thank BMW Group Malaysia for organising the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics showcase here in Kuala Lumpur and for yet again inviting me to be a part of their innovative efforts here in Malaysia.
2. Despite tumultuous conditions in the global automotive industry over the past few years, I am pleased to report that the state of the Malaysian automotive market remains relatively strong. From January to December 2011, the total vehicle sales amounted to 599,877 units throughout the country compared to the total vehicle sales in 2010 which amounted to 605,156 units.
3. While it is true that this figure represents a modest decrease in the domestic vehicle market, Malaysia was able to demonstrate positive growth during such challenging times in the global industry. This remains to be a testament to the dynamism and resilience of our national economy.
4. Be that as it may, the Malaysian Government is appreciative of the possibility that this year will be one filled with economic challenges. Headwinds in Europe and several other Western countries forewarn of potential downward tendency in global markets which are still wary from the losses of the 2008/2009 recession.
5. To that end, the Malaysian Government has taken numerous steps to insulate the economy from recessionary pressures by promoting local investment as well as technology intensive foreign direct investment. We have also shifted the focus of our export and trade economy to non-traditional markets.
6. For your information, in 2009 the Malaysian Government implemented the National Green Technology policy with the aim of taking the nation into a new era of energy efficiency, economic growth, increased innovation and sustainable development. The key objective outlined by this policy was to ensure sustainable development and to conserve the environment for our future generations.
7. Further to that, to counter the effects of the economic slowdown, the development and adoption of advanced technology would be crucial in ensuring that Malaysia remains on track towards becoming a high-income status nation by the year 2020.
8. In the years to come, innovation and creativity will be key features which ensure that Malaysia will continue to develop itself as reputable manufacturers of advanced technology products. Greater emphasis will be placed on strengthening research & development and in the delivery of innovative products into global markets as a means of enhancing economic growth and national competitiveness.
9. With that objective in mind, the Government has placed significant emphasis on the introduction and development of environmentally friendly products and services which comply with the Green technology standards which have been set by the Government and have become a standard requirement in most Government procurement processes today.
10. Moving forward, we will continue to introduce significant measures to encourage the growth, development and adoption of Green technology. Being a strong passenger and commercial vehicle market, we are particularly keen to explore measures through which Green technology can be introduced to the automotive industry, and with the co-operation of companies such as BMW, we are confident that Malaysia can be developed into a hub for the development and assembly of advanced and environmentally friendly automotive technology.
11. Therefore, we would encourage the use of clean and Green technology alternatives such as Advanced Diesel Technology, Hybrid Technology and Electric Mobility domestically, while also creating strong economic opportunities for the country as an exporter of technologically advanced vehicles throughout Asean and beyond.
12. Today, our efforts in exploring Green technology development in the automotive industry have already born fruit and it is our hope that, with the co-operation of companies such as BMW, we will be able to explore new measures through which further opportunities in automotive sustainability can be implemented.
13. It is encouraging to see a multinational such as BMW taking proactive steps towards introducing and improving alternative energy solutions for the local automotive industry. As the world’s leader in automotive sustainability, BMW’s efforts have not only led to significant contributions to the preservation of the world’s resources and environment but have fostered greater awareness of the development of sustainable technologies right here in Malaysia.
14. The positive impact which BMW has had towards the environment, and towards the growth of a sustainable automotive industry, through its comprehensive BMW EfficientDynamics strategy is a sterling example of what can be accomplished by private or non-government entities that display high levels of innovation and initiative as well as a genuine concern for the societies which they serve.
15. We welcome BMW Group Malaysia’s continuing emphasis on sustainability and support for the Green revolution. For our part, the Malaysian Government has been offering a comprehensive mix of fiscal incentives, duty exemptions and R&D grants to support further investments in the production of hybrid and electric vehicles in Malaysia. For example, in the Budget 2012, the Government has given full exemption of import duty and excise duty on hybrid cars and electric cars until end of 2013.
16. Therefore, it is our hope that BMW will choose to explore the possibility of introducing the manufacture and assembly of these vehicles in Malaysia soon.
17. The BMW Group’s BMW EfficientDynamics strategy is a demonstration of the possibilities and opportunities to be discovered with the power of innovation. It is my aspiration that other corporate entities from both Malaysia and abroad will emulate the commitment, initiative and concern for the societies which they serve. I would like to once again commend BMW for its bold, imaginative and passionate efforts.
18. As Henry Ford put it – “A business that makes nothing but money, is a poor business”.
19. With that I would like to thank BMW Group Malaysia once again for their kind invitation and without further ado announce the official launch of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics showcase here in Kuala Lumpur.