By Denna Bowman
China-based tyres manufacturers are being urged to consider setting up plants in Malaysia to avoid the newly imposed US import tariffs.
Ir. Liew Choon Kong, deputy chairman of the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce, said: “China buys a lot of rubber from Malaysia as raw material to produce tyres there. If manufacturers set up factories and export from Malaysia, they would avoid the impact of the increased tax.”
The decision by the United States to impose an extra 35% duty on Chinese-made tyres has triggered strong complaints from local tyre companies in the country.
It has also led to China strongly opposing the act of trade protectionism by the United States.
According to Liew, if tyres are produced in Malaysia by China-based manufacturers, the specifications would not be categorised as being “Chinese,” which would enable the product to enter the US market.
“In this way, it would be cost effective as well, while steering away from the impact of the new US tariffs on Chinese tyres,” he said.
Liew said the move would also indirecty open up more business opportunities for Malaysian and Chinese companies to work hand in hand, in view of the current economic environment.
He also urged local food and beverage producers to penetrate the Chinese market as there was more untapped opportunities due to the growing population.
“The Chinese have difficulty getting coffee suplies. So, this is an example of a market Malaysian producers can look at,” he said.