The metal industry is bullish in its outlook for 2011 with the implementation of projects under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
"Some of the projects under ETP will be implemented, and the industry people are very bullish about this year," International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters after the ministry's dialogue session with the iron and steel industry here, he said the local industry players were poised to benefit in the long term from projects such as the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit).
Even though the metal industry was not identified as one of the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs), its contribution to various sectors under the NKEAs could not be denied, he said.
He said the development of this industry would directly influence the performance and success of those NKEAs especially in the construction sector.
There would be a lot of infrastructure projects under the NKEAs and 10th Malaysia Plan which will create opportunities for the industry to expand production to cater for the upcoming demand in the implementation of projects, he added.
On the proposal to impose an export duty on iron ore, Mustapa said: "By imposing duties, then more will be available in the country and hopefully, prices will be lower than global prices but it may not be working that way.
"We are opening up, and imposing an export duty must be on special circumstances."
He said there were three blast furnaces in the country, which require iron ore. "We are producing a small quantity of iron ore in Malaysia at present," he added.