KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — The local aviation and aerospace industry is hoping that Budget 2023 will include initiatives and policies which encourage technology-first (tech-first) strategies to support post-pandemic recovery and the industry’s future ecosystem.
Aerodyne Group founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Kamarul A. Muhamed said in line with the government’s aspiration to boost the digital economy, prioritising local companies in doing business would enable the industry to contribute greatly to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“We need a budget that supports an ecosystem that is friendly and conducive to the growth of the technology industry, not necessarily to the aviation and aerospace industry only but all in general.
“What we really need to be looking at is facilitation and focus to allow tech players to grow. Do not look down on ‘Made in Malaysia’ because we also have companies of international standards and among the best in the world,” he told Bernama.
Kamarul noted that assistance in terms of grants is more suitable than subsidies as the aviation and aerospace industry is capital and technology-intensive, whereby a huge fund size is needed for it to grow.
Compared with developed countries, he said most of the technology firms received high domestic direct investment so that research and development (R&D) in the country reaches an excellent level and is at par with the global level.
“If we look at South Korea and Japan, for example, priority (for investment) is given to domestic technology. That is my hope, if we can have such a policy here, our digital economy will be more brilliant,” Kamarul said.
Aerodyne was ranked first among the top global remote-sensing drone service providers in 2021 by the leading global source for data on commercial drones, Drone Industry Insights.
Similarly, aviation and aircraft charter, rental and leasing service provider Systematic Aviation Services Sdn Bhd CEO Ida Adora Asha’ari Ismail said incentives should be provided to the industry under Budget 2023.
As one of the hardest hit industries due to the pandemic and still in the recovery phase, she said funds that could spur growth in the aviation industry are very much needed, including for technology and human capital development as well as investment in new assets.
Ida also hoped that the budget will address the growth of general aviation and aviation sports.
“Activities in general aviation have slowed down over the years, I hope the government will pump in some funds for the growth of that,” she added.
SAS is set to build Malaysia’s first water aerodrome at Pulau Perhentian in Terengganu, thus making it the first water aerodrome operator in the country.