Recent announcement of 9th Malaysian Plan (9MP) by the government is seen to be very positive for the industry. Specifically, thrust 2 under the 9MP focused on raising the country’s capacity for knowledge and innovation, and nurturing ‘first-class mentality’.
Some fact that is highly favourable to the book industry in general;
- Under the 9MP from 2006 to 2010, Malaysian economy is set to grow steadily with the GDP expanding averagely by 6.0% per annum, achieving per capita GNP of RM23,573 in 2010.
- During the plan period, the population is projected to increase to 28.96 million in 2010 with the working age group of 15-64 years to account for 63.6 per cent of total population while those aged 65 years and above will increase to 4.7 per cent.
- The government will pump in a total of RM220 billion in the 9MP compared to RM170 billion in 8MP. Of this amount, a total of RM45.1 billion, or 20.5%, will be allocated to implement the various education and training programmes.
- Ministry of Education will receive RM23.19 billion or 10.5% of the budget, and Ministry of Higher Education will be allocated RM17.6 billion or 8.0% of the budget.
Thrust 2 under the RM9 placed book industry at the high impact segment, with Government’s emphasis on human capital development. We generally expect an expanding market for book with population growth, strong economy, improving GNP. There will be an increasing needs for book with bigger number of population getting further education, greater demand for knowledge and progressive thinking. There will be an emerging market in women books, with focus in advancing women participationin the economy. We also expect opportunities government’s expanded allocation in education will filter down to books, teaching aid.