Exporting Malaysia’s Rail Technology

Malaysia spearheading an Export Acceleration Mission to the Philippines focusing on rail technology is rather an ambition as this will be an avenue to further propel the industry into the new era of reduced carbon emission and electrification.

Under the guidance of MATRADE, the event is to bring the local industry out of the shadows and provide potential business in the region. Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Sharimahton Mat Saleh said “Malaysia’s railway sector has improved technologically and modernised enough to be at par with countries such as the UK, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and China. This comes as Malaysia had a breakthrough in the manufacturing of the new ‘green locomotive’ series, which is able to reduce up to 75% of carbon dioxide emission, proving Malaysia’s railway sector is on the right track in innovation.

The manufacturing of Malaysia’s 1st locally-made locomotives is evident that capability for fulfilling international demand for the railway sector exists in the country and the capacity in producing coaches that comply with environmental guidelines.

“We have a good number of civil construction companies that have done well in the rail industry. In addition to projects in Malaysia, these firms have also been handed work in other countries. In markets like Thailand and Taiwan, our rail companies have already established a presence by building train stations, viaduct-tunnels, bridges, and other infrastructure,” said Sharimahton.

According to Sharimahton, Malaysian railway companies have excelled in automated fare collection, electrification, communications, and track maintenance. Because of their industry expertise, Malaysian companies are well-positioned to take advantage of international business prospects. Examples of Malaysia’s expertise in foreign countries include the communication networks in Vietnam, the trackwork in Indonesia, and the vast majority of the energy systems in Southeast Asia.

The top exports for railway products in 2020 were contributed by parts of rolling-stock vehicles valued at RM21.4 million and signalling devices for railways valued at RM20.2 million. The top export destinations for Malaysia’s railway products in 2020 are the USA, with an export value of RM11.3 million, followed by China RM7.7 million, Singapore RM4.6 million, Vietnam RM4.5 million and Australia RM3.5 million.

Meanwhile, the top imports for railway products in 2020 were contributed by parts of rolling-stock valued at RM185.4 million, self-propelled rolling stock valued at RM116.4 million, and railway passenger & special purpose coaches valued at RM74.4 million. The top imports sources for Malaysia’s railway products in 2020 are South Korea with an import value of RM168.3 million, Canada RM115.4 million, China RM53.1 million, Germany RM38.6 million, and USA RM26.7 million.

Malaysia’s major exports of railway products to the Philippines for the period of Jan to Aug 2021 were the railway track fixtures and fittings valued at RM867,140 cumulatively.

The virtual Export Acceleration Mission (EAM), which will take place from 20 to 21 October 2021, will see the participation of 12 Malaysian companies in promoting products and services from various rail industry subsectors such as Rolling Stock, Signalling & Telecommunication, Power Electrification, Track Works as well as Education related matters.

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