According to reports, aimed at stemming the outflow of capital for the acquisition of marine transport products, especially ships, the Malaysian Government will seek to strengthen the capacity and capability of the shipbuilding and ship repair sector in the country under the recently-launched Third Industrial Master Plan (2006-2020) (IMP3).
Giving the push to the shipbuilding and ship repair sector is among the five strategic thrusts for the long-term growth and viability of the marine transport subsector.
Last year, Malaysia imported various marine transport products and it has been estimated that the outflow of the capital for this sector increased by an annual rate of 3.6 percent during the 1996-2005 period.
The country imported cruise ships, ferry boats, cargo ships and barges last year.
Recently, MISC Bhd announced that it has allocated funds for the acquisition of mainly tankers and containerships.
The perspective IMP3 noted there are 56 companies with manufacturing licences undertaking the building and repairing of commercial and naval vessels.
In addition, there are more than 30 smaller shipyards producing mainly wooden hulls for fisherman and traders, smaller ferries, tugboats, barges, standby vessels and patrol boats, leisure craft yachts, cruisers and speedboats.
The plan document said during the IMP2 period, major inroads were made in developing the shipbuilding and repairing sector.