PUTRAJAYA, July 17 (Bernama) -- The government is looking at several strategies to enhance the country's export growth, especially in facing stiff competition from other emerging economies, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said.
He said these included promoting investment in new technology-driven products through technology acquisition; testing and certification of Malaysian products for exports; and, establishing and encouraging Malaysian companies to establish offices abroad.
"There should be new products for the niche market, thus strengthening Malaysian companies and market penetration," he told reporters after chairing the Focus Group Meeting for Budget 2015 here Thursday.
He said Malaysia needed to build on and strengthen its competitive advantage, including in the export of services such as tourism, professional services, Islamic finance, and in the areas of maintenance, repair and overhaul.
"We want to see more service providers, not only in construction and related services, but also in legal, information and communications technology, engineering, oil and gas widening their market," he said.
Husni said Malaysia should expand into new markets to offset slower demand from China while low value-added electrical and electronics (E&E) exports could be improved through better domestic linkages.
Despite a well-developed E&E cluster in the northern region, he said Malaysia had not been able to capitalise on this advantage to be part of new and emerging technologies, products and services.
"Domestic firms must step up efforts to undertake indigenous R&D and procure more quality inputs from local suppliers," he said.
Meanwhile, Husni said the government was looking at increasing wage contribution to the gross domestic product to 39 per cent by 2020 from 32 per cent at present.
"We are strengthening our financial position to achieve a balance budget by 2020 and a surplus one after that. We are also reducing debt, currently it's 54.7 per cent. It will not grow beyond 55 per cent," he said.