Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan is hopeful Malaysia’s aerospace manufacturing exports to top RM9 billion this year. NST picture by SADDAM YUSOFF

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's aerospace manufacturing exports are seen to top RM9 billion this year, up from last year's RM8.49 billion, said Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.

“We should see at least 5 per cent export growth from last year as orders for the manufacture of aircraft components are increasing,” Ong told reporters here today after a preview of the Kuala Lumpur International Aerospace Business Convention 2018, to be held in October.

Ong is optimistic of healthy growth momentum in the aerospace sector, driven by the record growth seen in the last three years and backlog of orders for aircraft in the Asia Pacific region.

“In 2015, the nascent aerospace exports were RM4.17 billion. The following year, it grew to RM5.50 billion and last year, it posted more than 50 per cent increment to RM8.49 billion,” Ong said.

“So, this year, we've forecast a very conservative figure of five per cent export growth to RM9 billion, based on the carry over orders our manufacturers here are working on,” he added.

Ong noted that international players such as GE Engine Services Malaysia, Airbus, Spirit AeroSystems, Safran, Aerospace Composite Malaysia and Honeywell Aerospace Services had made Malaysia their ground for business operation.

Among local companies which have made great strides are SME Aerospace, CTRM Aero Composite, Sepang Aircraft Engineering, Airod and Malaysian Aerospace Engineering.

Their business activities centre around composites design and manufacturing; aircraft components design and manufacturing, avionics and systems design and manufacturing.

Also present at the media briefing was Malaysia Aerospace Industry Association president Naguib Mohd Nor, who is also Strand Aerospace Malaysia Sdn Bhd chief executive officer.

"Our members are taking in more orders and some are even expanding their factories," said Naguib.

To boost the performance of the Malaysian aerospace industry, Ong said Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) will organise the fourth edition of the KLIABC 2018 from October 2 to 4.

Matrade chairman Datuk Noraini Ahmad said the KLIABC 2018 will be focusing on the industry’s supply chain, procurement, purchasing, engineering, fabrication and R&D. A total of 170 organisations, both local and international will be participating in this show.

She highlighted that the Malaysian Aerospace Industry Blueprint 2030 seeks to create more than 32,000 high income jobs and envisions Malaysia to be Southeast Asia's leading aerospace hub with an annual revenue of RM55.2 billion.

To further support of the aerospace industry, National Aerospace Industry Coordinating Office (NAICO) was established in August 2015 as a Unit under the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI). 

Ong said NAICO's role is to oversee the implementation of the strategies and initiatives in the blueprint.