Automotive, oil and gas to drive Malaysian welding equipment demand


Demand for welding equipment in Malaysia is set to expand as foreign investment boosts the general level of industrial infrastructure and manufacturing activity in the country. In 2005, the Malaysian government eased rules to allow foreign investors 100% ownership of newly established manufacturing firms, putting Malaysia on par with other countries vying for foreign capital.

Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan has found that Malaysian markets for welding equipment and consumables earned revenues of $71.6 million in 2005 and estimates this to reach $108.3 million by 2012.

"The spillover effects from other sectors benefiting from an increase in investment are likely to boost the demand for welding equipment and consumables," notes Titus Hocevar, a research analyst for Frost & Sullivan. "The growth caused by rising foreign investment is also likely to encourage developments in welding technology as foreign companies are expected to have higher requirements for welding equipment."

The upstream oil and gas sector will be the primary beneficiary of the foreign ownership policy, with exploration and production activities expected to take center stage in the next few years. Investment is likely to accelerate if the price of crude oil remains close to its all-time peak. Local incumbents in the automotive industry will also need to modernize their facilities and equipment to remain competitive in the liberalized domestic market.

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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

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