By November, Malaysia will announce a new auto policy, which will enhance the competitiveness of national car maker Proton and help auto parts vendors expand business abroad, a senior official reportedly said in remarks published on Monday.

According to Reuters, deputy international trade and industry Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said that the revised policy, which has been delayed twice, is being “fine-tuned” and will be unveiled by prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in a few weeks’ time.

“We’re also looking at enhancing the domestic market and the industry as a whole,” he was quoted by state news agency Bernama as saying.

Reuters added that Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s biggest passenger car market, is mapping out a revised plan for cutting tariffs on imported cars after some local car assemblers complained of an uneven playing field – auto tariffs must be cut to 0-5% by 2008 for all Southeast Asian auto imports under a free trade pact.

It is also working on a proposal to turn itself into a regional hub for automotive production to rival neighbouring Thailand, Southeast Asia’s biggest overall auto market, the news agency added.