Environmental Technologies Industries
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Overview of the Environmental Technologies Industry in Malaysia
Overview of the Market for Environmental Technologies
In Southeast Asia, Malaysia was among the first countries to give priority to the environment in its long-range economic plans. Malaysia’s environmental degradation has been growing at an average 8% annually for most of the last 10 years. With rapid urbanization and industrialization, the waste management infrastructure has become inadequate to meet the country’s burgeoning requirements. Lack of appropriate land use planning, weak enforcement and inadequate investment in environmental technologies have led to widespread soil erosion, massive deforestation, worsening soil conditions, and water and air pollution.

In 1997, Malaysia’s environmental market is estimated between $700-$750 million. Water utility revenues make up nearly half (about 48%) of the country’s total environmental market. The remaining 52% of total revenues is sourced from federal /state/local government and industry clients. Malaysia receives relatively minimal amounts of multilateral assistance compared to other Southeast Asian neighbors. However, Malaysia also participates in a number of international initiatives that enhance cooperation with private sector technology and service providers in the environmental field.
The market opportunities are diverse. Senior Malaysia Department of Environment officials have listed eight priority areas for public-private collaboration in the environmental sector. These are: water treatment technologies, site remediation, air pollution control, commercial production of pollution equipment, total quality management, resource training and development, R&D, and promotion of energy efficiency and conservation.
Opportunities exist in the water and wastewater treatment area due to the privatization of water facilities. The Government plans to invest $180 million in national sewage treatment plants; and also has $2.5 billion available in concessional financing for privatizing a nation wide sewer system.
Privatization has opened up the solid waste market, especially landfill design and construction, recycling, and composters. The Government plans to spend $1.2 billion over the next five years in this sector. The Malaysian government has allocated $80 million for a national toxic and hazardous waste treatment and disposal facility. Other opportunities are present in waste management and medical waste.
In the air pollution sector, opportunities exist in air quality control and monitoring. A recent 1996 national monitoring project purchased $3 million in U.S. equipment alone. Malaysia’s national vehicular inspection plan (including emission monitoring) is planned for $60-80 million.
In the services sector, opportunities exist in: environmental auditing, management systems, impact assessments, GIS technology and consultants, oil spill recovery and remediation technology, and soil erosion technology. The consulting and engineering market was estimated to be $30 million in 1997.

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