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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 (Bernama) -- The textile, apparel and footwear industry contributed RM1.21 billion or 0.3 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Senior director of industrial development division Datuk Hanafi Sakri said the sector currently employs around 3.11 per cent or 70,367 people of the total workers employed in the manufacturing sector.
The investments in the sector recorded a value of RM3.23 million in the first half of 2022, while exports amounted to RM8.76 billion during the same period.
“While the sector’s contribution may seem small based on economic indicators, it has become a global trendsetter in its own field. Business opportunities lie in the higher end of the global value chain and the diversified production of higher value-added products.
“Malaysia is home to many major companies who serve as key global supply chain providers of textile and garment manufacturing for international brands such as NIKE, Under Armour and Uniqlo,” he said in his keynote address at KLFW Fashion Connect Point 22 here today.
Hanafi said the industry’s growth will depend on building a stronger and more comprehensive ecosystem that focusses on talent, skills and innovation and industry 4.0 technologies, including basic automation, which have impacted both the front-end and back-end of the industry.
Sharing a success story of one small and medium company, Hanafi said Siti Khadijah Apparel Sdn Bhd is currently the leading brand in women’s prayer outfits or “telekung” in Malaysia.
He said under the Industry4WRD Intervention Fund incentive by MITI, Siti Khadijah has added sensors and transmitters to the existing 50 units of sewing machines.
Via the upgrades, he said the company witnessed a significant increase in productivity by 139 per cent for the period November 2021 to June 2022.
“This bold move by a local company is testament to the need for the industry to adapt to technological changes in improving productivity and increasing efficiency by leveraging automation and digitalisation,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said MITI would like to call upon the industry to explore the export markets via the many free trade agreements (FTAs) established to increase revenue and global presence.
Additionally, Hanafi said the government will continue to promote and incentivise the local batik manufacturers.
“The batik industry must be transformed through the adoption of green practices for it to stand out globally, in line with the environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.
“Batik designers are encouraged to strive their creativity with innovation to ensure our Malaysian batik is more marketable worldwide, including technology adoption as a strong value proposition that would appeal to the international audiences,” he said.
Meanwhile, AmBank managing director of retail banking Aaron Loo said the bank has collaborated with KL Fashion Week to organise the one-day-only Fashion Connect Point 22, a business fashion dialogue to serve the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the fashion industry.
“Recognising the impact that the pandemic had on many of Malaysia’s homegrown industries, we are committed to playing our role in supporting local businesses, including those in the fashion industry.
“We will continue to provide solutions for them by improving and innovating our offerings to suit their needs,” he said.
The Fashion Connect Point 22 programme covered topics such as navigating through present economic challenges; knowledge sharing from industry experts and successful entrepreneurs; the various financial solutions available to support the fashion industry eco-system; and many other relevant topics that would help participants prime their business for growth.
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