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Equipping Malaysia's manufacturing sector and SMEs for industry 4.0

Malaysia's National Policy on Industry 4.0, known as Industry4WRD, is set to drive the nation to become a strategic partner for smart manufacturing and related services in the Asia Pacific.

Speaking at the launch of Industry4WRD yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said this policy calls for a transformation of the manufacturing sector and its related services to be smarter and stronger, driven by people, process and technology.

Dr Mahathir said: "Manufacturing firms can no longer reap the same yields as in previous decades, if they continue to rely on capital and labour as productivity levers. Therefore, Malaysia needs to quickly embrace Industry 4.0 to propel productivity and further enhance competitiveness."

He added that having a strong manufacturing sector would lead to increased productivity, job creation, a highly-skilled talent pool, innovation capability, economic prosperity and societal well-being.

“Manufacturing firms in Malaysia, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), had the potential to gain advantage from the adoption of Industry 4.0.

"With this in mind, this policy was developed to propel SMEs forward, so that they can be agile and adaptable to meet the challenges posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

As part of the Industry4WRD Policy, the Readiness Assessment programme will further assist SMEs to measure their gaps and readiness, to guide their adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies.

ALSO READ: Bracing for the impact of Industry 4.0

At the same time, the Entrepreneur Development Ministry will provide entrepreneurial training to about 50,000 local graduates with qualifications but no involvement in the field starting next year.

This will be part of the government's ongoing efforts to help SMEs and young entrepreneurs gain more income, increasing their competitiveness in an evolving economy.

Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said: "The Entrepreneur Development Ministry is always serious in empowering the small enterprises and young entrepreneurs in weathering the prevailing economic challenges."

Concluding his statement on Industry4WRD, Dr Mahathir said the policy can be a "clear strategic direction for the nation since these technologies apply across the board."

He also said: "The necessity for Malaysia to have its own policies to address industry 4.0 is critical and the introduction of Industry4WRD marks the starting point to the wider industrial revolution for Malaysia."

Photo / 123RF

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