The production of highly creative, innovative and value-added products should be given utmost priority instead of just price competitive products, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“If we continue to compete just on pricing based on low inputs then we will only compete at a low level and reap less returns on investments,” he said at the launch of the Public-Private Research Network (PPRN) here today.

The premier said the country would feel the impact if other countries were to lower their cost of production as this would force Malaysia to further reduce cost to withstand the stiff competition.

“In order to survive in an ever competitive world, we must realise our strengths and look at areas where we can make improvements,” he said.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said attention should also be accorded to the manufacture of knowledge intensive and high technology products to meet market demand.

“To succeed global competition entails the production of differentiated and high-value products which is not easily imitated or copied by competitors,” he added.

“As an example, iPhone 6, if compared with other brands of mobile phones, enjoys a strong demand that outstrips supply.

“Customers are prepared to sleep on five-foot paths in order to be the first to get their hands on the iPhone 6 when stores open the next day.

“Why is this product much sought after compared to the rest?” he asked.

On the PPRN, Najib said it was an innovative incentive introduced by the government in the 2015 Budget to promote demand-based innovative programmes.

Najib announced a RM50 million allocation for PPRN which would establish an ecosystem that is triple-helix in nature and knowledge-friendly, where knowledge is produced, assimilated and distributed to those companies that need it to upgrade their technologies and business models.