As I sipped my morning coffee and flipped the daily papers, I was delighted to see the headlines ‘Paper consumption is set to increase’ thinking that it is a call to reduce the consumption of paper.
How wrong and naive I am. Below is the said article picked out from The Star.
Paper consumption is set to increase
The Star, 19 January 2009
KUALA LUMPUR: Paper consumption is set to increase over the years, and the Government should make it more attractive for local industrialists to set up more paper mills here in collaboration with foreign investors.
“More than half of what is used now is imported,” Malaysia Paper Merchants’ Association (MaPMA) secretary Manmohan Singh Kwatra said at its 20th anniversary dinner last night which was graced by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha.
“About 150,000 tonnes is produced locally at the Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) in Sipitang, Sabah, Malaysia’s first integrated pulp and paper mill.”
Malaysia consumes about 380,000 tonnes of printing and writing paper annually, of which about 230,000 tonnes are imported, including from Indonesia and Thailand.
“With attractive incentives, our mill partners from the neighbouring countries will be more attracted to add on to, or shift, their operations to Malaysia, while SFI will certainly consider expansion plans to meet the present shortfall and the annual growing demand,” Manmohan added.
SFI’s production, he said, was set to increase to 180,000 tonnes a year within the next two years.
Kong meanwhile said the Government would always hold a dialogue with the industry prior to formulating a policy or law.
He encouraged the setting up of more paper mills in the country given that demand for paper would continue to rise.
“I encourage paper merchants to come together and invest in the industry so that we do not have to depend so much on imported paper, as imports can affect pricing,” he added.
He said the fluctuating oil prices had affected all industries, including the paper industry, making budgeting and purchasing difficult.
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