KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's rubber industry is expected to soar in the coming years following the strengthening of cooperation with China in the field of commodities.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's visit to China on Sunday opened up opportunities for increased cooperation in commodities and agriculture-based industries, including rubber, palm oil and biodiesel, and access for Malaysian agricultural products to the Chinese market.

Following that, the ministry is planning to hold a mission to China to discuss cooperation in areas that can be developed, Fadillah, who is also plantation and commodities minister, said.

“In terms of rubber, we can focus on products we produce that are used in the construction industry, which are products that can ensure that buildings can withstand earthquake tremors, for example,“ he said after officiating at Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) Technology Day 2023 here.

Elaborating, Fadillah said MRB collaborated with Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre (TARRC) to produce technology based on seismic rubber bearing products to deal with structural movement due to temperature changes, or protection from tremors due to earthquakes.

He noted that among the structures in Malaysia that were built using seismic rubber bearings are the Penang Second Bridge, the Hevea Malaysia Academy building in Langkawi and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board building in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

MRB and TARRC conducted research involving NaturalFR. Rubber products produced using NaturalFR compounds have flame retardant, low smoke and low toxicity properties, and have been used in the door entrances of several railway stations in the United Kingdom.

A memorandum of agreement was signed between MRB and Jupiter Solution, Natrab MFBI Enterprise and Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC), and a commercialisation cooperation agreement was inked between MRB and MRC to promote the board's innovations at home and abroad. – Bernama