KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 (Bernama) — The Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) will collaborate with the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) to examine the best mechanism for the local industry in facing the open market environment.

Its President, Datuk Hashim Othman, said through the memorandum of understanding signed with ACAPMA, PDAM will suggest new policy relating to the oil industry in line with the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement signed recently.

“Currrently, the oil industry is regulated where prices were determined by the government and licences are issued by the government.

“This is a system that has been adopted for over 20 years,” Hashim said after the signing ceremony of the MOU today.

He said through this MOU, the industry could learn from the practice adopted in Australia of the mechanism to address the open market environment and implementation of government’s policy that would not be detrimental to oil producers and consumers.

He hoped that this collaboration could help the government set policies relating to the oil industry in the future.

“Malaysia’s retail fuel industry is in the midst of a complete change and we are moving towards the deregulation ?of the industry.

“The single biggest change was the abolishment of fuel subsidy and changes to the pump price setting mechanism, which currently is reviewed on the monthly basis,” he said

Hashim said ACAPMA has been chosen as the collaboration partner due to Australia’s wide experience in the fuel industry, having been deregulated for the past 20 years.

“There is certainly a lot we can learn from them, not just their successes, but more importantly the negative experiences, especially which has led to the closure of thousands of small entrepreneurs due to the intense competition that came with deregulation,” he said.

He said the agreement will also see both organisations working cooperatively on the establishment of a new Regional Industry Association over the next 12 months to support the large number of state-owned and private businesses, comprising the downstream petroleum industry within Asia-Pacific.

Hashim said both associations had identified a need for the establishment of a regional forum for the discussions of fuel wholesale and fuel retail issues from a comercial perspective.

The first action under the agreement would see both ?organisations promote the inaugural Asia-Pacific Fuel Industry forum in September in Singapore, he said.

“The agreement will also see PDAM and ACAPMA working together on the creation of an Asia-Pacific industry training body as a sub-set of the new Asia Pacific Industry Association.

“The body will develop? and market innovative industry training products and best practice industry guidelines intended to promote a safer, cleaner and more competitive fuel industry in the future, he said.

— BERNAMA

Extracted in full from Bernama.