News Room - SEAISI Articles

Posted on 25 Jul 2022

Impact of the Opening of Malaysia’s Borders on Local Businesses and the Steel Industry

Borders Reopened

With the transition from pandemic to endemic phase of the Covid-19 virus, Malaysia has reopened its borders with effect from 1st April 2022. After 2 long years, Malaysia is finally ready to accept foreign visitors. Thus, Malaysia joins other Southeast Asian nations in fully opening its economy.

Economic Growth  

Bank Negara Malaysia expects the economy to grow between 5.3% and 6.3% in 2022 as the economy heads towards normalcy. Resumption of business activities will increase the demand for manpower leading to creation of new jobs. As a consequence, the unemployment rate is expected to decline further. Sectors such as tourism, construction and steel will see marked improvements in 2022.

Tourism Industry

In 2020, the tourism industry contributed around RM28.53 billion to the country’s GDP. One can be hopeful for the industry to perform better this year. People are expected to visit Malaysia once more thus boosting the hospitality and transportation sectors leading to a multiplier effect on the whole country.

Construction Industry

Between 2023 and 2026, the construction industry is expected to register an annual average 

growth rate of 6.2%. The East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) and upcoming railways and highway projects are expected to spur the construction sector and create increased demand for steel.

Steel Industry

Steel continues to remain a crucial element for construction, manufacturing and the automotive industries. The World Steel Association forecasts the demand for steel to increase by 0.4% in 2022 to reach 1,840.2 mt from 2.7% in 2021. Local and international projects in the steel industry will resume minus the hiccups faced in the last two years. This will certainly be welcomed making the return to normalcy a reality.

Challenges and Risk

i) Russia-Ukraine War

The Russia-Ukraine war has caused a disruption to the global steel supply chain. The war continues to affect commodity prices globally and in Malaysia.

ii) Lockdown in China

The lockdown in several cities in China since March 2022 had affected the shipments to Malaysia and the world.

iii) Pent-Up Demand

The last 2 years of inactive activity has created a pent-up demand for steel products. This has caused the price of steel bars to increase as a consequence of raw material and supply crunches.  

Uncertainties in the Market

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned 2022 into a period of uncertainty. This has resulted in steel price volatility. Steel industries will eventually recover leading to high demand for steel in the next few months.

This uncertainty also depends on the development of the Russian-Ukraine war.

Travel Requirements into Malaysia

√   Download MySejahtera app

√  Complete the pre-departure form via the “Traveller” icon in MySejahtera app:

√ Verification on COVID-19  vaccine certificate. (You may skip this step if you have previously verified the digital vaccination certificate).

√ Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers must take pre-departure and on-arrival testing. Travellers must also quarantine for 5 days upon arrival.

Join our 2022 SEAISI Steel Mega Event & Expo, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (14 – 18 Nov 2022)

  • To gain knowledge on Malaysia’s steel industry’s updates
  • Presentation on Sustainability, technology and construction 
  • Networking opportunities
  • Plant tour