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Malaysia’s trade to hit RM1.5 trillion

VIP visit: (from left) CPN Ventures Sdn Bhd chief operating officer Anthony Dylan, CPN Thailand marketing executive vice president Dr Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, Ong and I-Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong addressing the media after a visit to the Central i-City project

Malaysia’s 2017 trade volume is set to surpass the RM1.5 trillion-mark, supported by its strong growth performance this year and steady global demand for electrical and electronics (E&E) products.

International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said Malaysia’s total trade this year surpassed RM1 trillion in just seven months – a figure that is usually reached further in the year.

“We hit RM1 trillion in July.

“Usually, we hit the mark by September or October, so we see trade increase for the next two months,” he told reporters at a media briefing on the Central i-City shopping mall yesterday.

“It’s going in the right direction.

“Our economy is still very healthy, there are no signs of bankruptcy and surplus is strong,” said Ong.

Malaysia’s trade surpassed the one trillion mark in January-July 2017, with a value of RM1.008 trillion, expanding by 22.7% from the corresponding period in 2016.

Data from the Statistics Department showed that the country’s exports in July expanded 30.9% year-on-year, driven by external demand for E&E and petroleum products, as well as shipments of liquefied natural gas.

This was an acceleration from the 10% year-on-year growth registered in June, and exceeded the consensus estimate of 15 economists polled by Bloomberg for a 23% year-on-year export growth in July. For the seven-month period, exports grew 22.3% y-o-y to RM529.68bil, while imports rose 23% y-o-y to RM478.71bil, resulting in a trade surplus of RM50.97bil.

Ong said the E&E sector was “very vibrant,” adding that he expects the trend to “grow stronger.” “The past few months have been vibrant, but we’re not contented. We’re exploring new markets; we’re still looking at completing new free trade agreements (FTAs) in the Middle East and African countries,” he added.

  • The Star