17/06/2021 03:35 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17  -- The government must implement innovative measures to recover the billions of ringgit spent on the pandemic, to aid economic recovery, said Retail and Trade Brands Advocacy Malaysia Chapter (RTBA Malaysia).

In a statement, managing director Datuk Fazli Nordin said Malaysia is starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, with the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin outlining details of the National Recovery Plan to take the country out of the health and economic crisis by year-end.

Fazli said the non-governmental organisation advocated effective regulatory, financial and taxation policies affecting retailers and brands, recommended several measures that could be considered in Malaysia.

“For one, we can look at the opening up of pathways to increase foreign direct investments (FDIs). Malaysia can design appropriate policies aimed at attracting investments during the pandemic and beyond.

“Next, we can create new revenue streams that can generate income for the nation by regulating the vape industry and expanding the taxation framework which now only limits vape devices and non-nicotine e-liquids,” he said.

Fazli cited reports that said the Malaysian vape industry is worth RM2.27 billion and has the potential to grow to RM10 billion in a few years if nicotine e-liquids are allowed for sale with regulations.

Further, he said local players which are made up primarily of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), would have the bandwidth to expand their footprint.

The government needs to consider expanding the taxation framework for vape e-liquids to include e-liquids with nicotine which make up 97 per cent of the market for Malaysia to gain some RM300 million in excise duty in the first year alone, he said.

Other measures that Malaysia could consider are revitalising the tourism sector, he said.

“Tourism is at a crossroads and the measures put in place today will shape the tourism of tomorrow. The government need to consider the longer-term implications of the crisis and start putting in measures to promote the structural transformation needed to build a stronger, more sustainable and resilient tourism economy,” he said.




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