KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — The government is committed to stabilising rubber prices and increasing its added value as the COVID-19 epidemic since the beginning of this year has affected demand in the global market, especially from China, the Dewan Negara was told today.
Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister II Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng said the government is cooperating with the world’s major rubber producing countries, namely Thailand and Indonesia under the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC) framework to strengthen and stabilise the price of rubber in the international market.
“Under this cooperation, the production share of the three countries is 63.3 percent of the world’s natural rubber production,” he said when answering a question from Senator Siti Fatimah Yahaya who wanted to know the steps taken by the government to stabilize the price of rubbber and increase the added value of the commodity.
Wee said the government plans to increase the use of rubbber in the country to strengthen the price of rubbeerr for the medium and long-term, including the use of rubbeerr in road construction and the production of new and value-added products based on rubber, including rubber gloves.
The government will also be introducing the Rubbber Community Farm concept to increase the supply of raw materials, as well as to generate additional income for smallholders through cash crops and livestock farming, he added.
In addition, he said the government plans to implement the Eastern Region Latex Corridor to obtain local latex products to support the development of the latex rubbber goods manufacturing industry, as well as increase the income of rubber smallholders and natural rubbber consumption by empowering the tyre industry.
This will open up new investment opportunities in the country so that the rubber goods manufacturing industry can be further expanded, he added.
“The tire industry is very competitive with a world market value of almost RM300 billion and the empowerment of the country’s dry rubberr-based industry can also offset our rubberr goods manufacturing industry which is now dominated by the latex-based industry to increase export contributions and the global rubber industry market,” he said.