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HAMIM Ledang

Posted: 26 May 2014 04:07 AM PDT

HAMIM Ledang


OPENING CEREMONY OF THE SOUTH EAST ASIA IRON AND STEEL INSTITUTE (SEAISI) CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION 2014, SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

Posted: 26 May 2014 01:12 AM PDT

Good Morning. Salam Sejahtera and Salam 1Malaysia,

1.         I would like to thank the organisers for inviting me to the 2014 South East Asia Iron and Steel Institute, SEAISI, Conference & Exhibition. I am happy to note that Malaysia is again hosting this major annual event. We last hosted the SEASI Conference in 2009.  This year, as you may know, is Visit Malaysia Year. So I am happy to join MISIF in welcoming all of you to Malaysia again.  

2.        Ladies and Gentlemen, you meet at a very challenging and exciting time. 2015 is just about some six months or so away. 2015 is a key milestone for ASEAN as the region is expected to see the realization of the first and most important phase of ASEAN Economic Community. With this regional economic integration issues of competition and supply, and freer and fair trade are even more real then in the past.

3.             Ladies and Gentlemen, for me, the iron and steel industry is as dynamic and challenging as it is strategic. You contribute to the development of a host of other sectors, not least, the construction and automotive and aerospace sectors. But, yes, you are also facing a number of challenges. Allow me to focus on just two very pressing concerns that I hope this SEASI conference will deal with. One is the challenge of sustainable development. All countries grapple with issues of climate change. No one country can manage such a concern on its own. Likewise industry, too, cannot ignore its impact on the environment. I hope that Sustainable Development is now high on your agenda and I would like to hear from industry measures being taken to deal with such concerns.


4.         The second challenge is that of excess capacity. The global steel market continues to be over-supplied. In 2013, the world production of crude steel reached 1.6 billion tonnes, an increase of 3.5% over the year before. China remains the world's largest steel producer and exporter with output totalling 779 million tonnes, accounting for 48.5% of the global steel production; and exports totaling 6.6 million tonnes in 2013. A major challenge for the industry is dealing with the issue of supply and ensuring freer and fair trade.

5.           Ladies and Gentlemen, let me propose a simple but significant solution for you to consider in the face of the two concerns I just highlighted. This can be summed up in one word: "COLLABORATION". I propose that there be at least three levels of collaboration: The first is intra-industry collaboration, that is, collaboration among the upstream and downstream players in each country. It would involve an appreciation of how each player contributes to the supply and value chains and contribute towards investment, creation of jobs, and ultimately the economy and well-being of the country.

6.         Second, inter-industry collaboration among the players in the region through organisations such as SEASI. Industry players need take a holistic perspective and see each other as partners instead of adversaries. As I stated earlier, our regional economic integration is moving forward. The ASEAN Economic Community will see ASEAN as a single market and production base. This is indeed an attractive prospect, presenting opportunities for ASEAN's iron and steel industry.

7.            Intra-ASEAN trade in iron and steel remains low at approximately 4% of total intra-ASEAN trade in 2013. It is timely, therefore, for the industry to take stock of where it is today in ASEAN and where it sees itself in the future. This would involve information sharing but within the context of competition rules. The information sharing and strength from camaraderie, especially among members of SEASI, will go a long way in the development of the industry, as a whole.

8.       Thirdly, Government-industry collaboration. This is where industry contributes towards policy formulation and drawing up of strategies for the long-term development and growth of the industry. This includes areas such as standards and conformance and safety; sustainable development; research and development; as well as capacity building. SEASI members may wish to propose regional standards for the consideration of the governments of member countries.

9.    In the case of Malaysia, both the industry and the Government have assumed "shared responsibility" to ensure the long-term sustainability of the iron and steel sector. We have jointly undertaken initiatives to further enhance the industry's competitiveness and help build capacity in the face of global challenges.  We also recently jointly established the Malaysia Steel Institute (MSI), which is an independent think-tank and advisory body for the Government and industry. In this context, I would like to see SEASI and MSI establish a strategic alliance.

10.      Finally, I hope that industry players will use this conference to propose solutions not only to industry but also to Governments. We are in this together. We want to see the industry grow and succeed.

11.             I would like to take this opportunity to thank SEAISI and MISIF again for the invitation and I wish      you all success in your deliberations. On this note, I am pleased to officially announce the 2014    SEAISI Conference and Exhibition open.


  Thank you.

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