Thursday June 21, 2012
Combined effort needed to get bigger rail market share
CYBERJAYA: Malaysia's fragmented rail industry requires a coordinated approach to policy, regulation and industry development in order to capture a bigger share of the nearly US$218bil global rail market.
This was the key message sent by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might) president and chief executive officer Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman in a briefing to industry stakeholders on the preliminary results of a joint study undertaken with Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) yesterday.
“In order to grow our fledgling rail industry and to carve out our own niche in this massive global industry, Malaysia needs strong institutional support and a uniform approach to regulation, promotion and coordination of industry development.
“We are committed to sharing a comprehensive, informative and well-planned National Rail Industry Development Plan with SPAD, the highest regulating authority in the rail industry, by the end of the year,” said Yusoff.
“Major investments currently being made in Malaysia's public rail infrastructure provide us with an opportunity to check where we stand today and take the steps required to ensure Malaysia is a world player in the rail industry,” Yusoff told a crowd of rail industry representatives that included local manufacturers, regulators and government officials.
Preliminary findings identified insufficient infrastructure, weakness in the policy and institutional framework, human capital shortages and overdependence on foreign suppliers among the primary challenges the National Rail Industry Development Plan will seek to address.
“Our patchwork approach to rail industry development has thus far failed to make Malaysia a competitive player in the global market. Despite the success of our national champion Scomi Rail, there is still a significant amount of the global market not being captured,” he said.
Asia Pacific is expected to lead market growth in rail industries and the global market for rail equipment is expected to climb from about US$218bil in 2009 to about US$237bil by 2016, according to the Association of the European Rail Industry.
“To play a part in the Asian rail industry growth story, Malaysia must address the structural challenges identified in the National Rail Industry Development Plan. Doing so will give us the tools we need to play a more direct and active role in our domestic rail industry and to foster companies capable of competing on the international stage,” said Yusoff.
As the governing authority of Malaysia's land public transport, SPAD supports MIGHT's efforts to undertake a study that will develop a roadmap for local rail industry players to take our industry on par with world standards, said SPAD in a statement.