The double – digit growth in the exports of electrical and electronic products (E&E) will likely continue in March and the remaining months of this year, following improving outlook for external environment post – COVID.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong said the E&E exports grew by 13.1% in January 2021 and the expansion continued in February 2021 with 24.4% growth registered.
He said demand for E&E is expected to remain higher, in view of strong growth projection in the global product sales and revenue for 2021, with information technology infrastructure (6.2%), smartphone (11.4%) and cloud computing (18.4%).
“The strong global demand for E&E products will support the growth of our local E&E productions and exports because six out of 12 world’s largest semiconductor companies and three out of nine largest LED companies are operating in Malaysia,” he told a press conference after launching the Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) yesterday.
Earlier in his speech, Lim said the E&E industry continues to be the key driver of industrial development and contributes significantly to GDP, export earnings, investments, and employment for the past 50 years.
Despite 2020 being a challenging year due to impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia recorded total trade in E&E products worth RM638.9 billion, where exports rose 3.5% to RM386.1 billion while imports rose to RM252.8 billion.
Major trading partners for E&E products were China, Singapore, the US, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
In terms of productivity, the E&E subsector recorded 4.5% productivity growth in 2020, the highest among the nine priority subsectors.
Approved investments for the E&E sector in 2020 totaled 148 projects and were valued at RM15.6 billion, whereby these projects are expected to create 19,541 jobs.
Lim said foreign entities accounted for the bulk of the total investments at RM13.5 billion (86.5%), while domestic investments brought in RM2.1 billion (13.5%).
Notwithstanding, he said the confidence of foreign investors in pursuing investment opportunities in Malaysia, with existing E&E companies continuing to expand and diversify their operations, is a testimony of their continued trust in the country’s investment environment.
On MSIA’s establishment, he hopes the association could help the government enhance the E&E industry in terms of research and development, design and fabrication of semiconductors.