Local shipbuilders doomed if safeguard duties imposed
Posted on October 5, 2014, Sunday
SIBU: Sibu MP Oscar Ling said any move to implement the 40 per cent safeguard duties on local shipbuilders for importing iron sheets would seriously dampen the local shipbuilding industry.
He urged the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to seriously consider its implications and instead sought other alternatives to help look after the interests of the local iron sheet manufacturers.
MITI must therefore work out a winning formula that would benefit both the local shipbuilding and the iron sheets manufacturers, he said at a press conference yesterday morning.
Two iron sheets manufacturers in the Peninsula had recently proposed to MITI to impose an initial `safeguard duties of 40 per cent for a period of four years reducing gradually by 2 per cent each year over a period of four years.
They said local shipbuilders were importing a large volume of iron sheets from foreign countries, the duty thus affecting their sales and business.
Ling, however, was skeptical of the proposal, saying, if implemented it would further aggravate the already damaged shipbuilding industry in the country.
Local shipbuilders are able to import duty-free iron sheet from the foreign countries on condition that they exported the ships after manufacturing.
Local shipbuilders have to compete with neighbouring countries especially Indonesia, on the supply of manufactured ships and business volume has dropped tremendously in recent months. If they are forced to pay an additional 40 percent safeguard duties it will only spell doom for them, he said, adding that he would bring up the matter during the Parliament budget sitting on Oct 7.