Steel players will make their views known to the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) on Thursday regarding the findings of the study undertaken by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to resolve the long-standing issues plaguing the industry.
Miti had commissioned BCG in February to conduct research on these issues. The findings was handed to Miti late last month but have not been made public.
According to earlier reports, the study would likely cover competitiveness, the existing steel policy, import and export duties, and the influx of cheaper imports.
A Miti official told StarBiz on condition of anonymity that separate meetings were held with key industry players, the Malaysia Steel Association (which groups together the integrated upstream players) and the Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation (Misif, the umbrella body which groups together all players) yesterday.
“Meetings were held with these players and they are supposed to come back on Thursday with their recommendations. This is a work-in-progress,” the official said, adding that the information would then be compiled and forwarded to the Economic Council for a decision.
The official said given that all the players had different and competing interests, the decision might not be perfect but would take into consideration that the industry is of strategic national interest.
“There'll be engagements with all stakeholders at every stage before we make an informed decision. But what all stakeholders have agreed is that this is a strategic industry and we've to get the policy right,” the ministry official said.
Although details of the study are still under wrap, it is understood that the study would help speed up Miti's next course in formulating an effective mechanism to address the issues, disputes and challenges faced by the industry.
Misif president Datuk Soh Thian Lai told StarBiz last week that the industry wanted the Government to address issues regarding competition from imported steel products, uncertainty and volatility of prices of raw materials and finished products, which had affected the producers' market and squeezed their profit margin.