SINGAPORE — Worried about rising business costs, the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association is lobbying the federal government to control cost increases and trim import tariffs in its 1998 budget, according to the state-run news agency Bernama.
``These cost increases have made the Malaysian plastics manufacturers become less competitive against emerging and industrializing countries such as China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam,'' MPMA said in a statement to the Ministry of Finance for its annual budget dialogue.
In the statement, the Selangor-based trade group proposed that the off-peak hourly rate for electricity be extended to include plastics processors.
It also is seeking a 15 percent reduction in import duty for some raw materials. Industry data puts the current tariff for polyethylene and polypropylene at 30 percent; 20 percent for polystyrene and nonmixed PVC; and 10 percent for ABS, vinyl acetate, acetal and epoxy resin.
In addition, MPMA has asked the Ministry of Human Resources to help its 870 members build a list of local and foreign skilled personnel that can be accessed through an electronic database.
MPMA also is seeking to reduce current interest rates for factory automation loans and for export credit refinancing.