2018 total trade may beat last year’s stellar performance, says Miti

September 22, 2018 | By | Reply More

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KUALA LUMPUR: The international trade and industry ministry (Miti) is confident that Malaysia’s total trade this year will surpass last year’s stellar performance of RM1.77 trillion, said its secretary-general, Isham Ishak.

He said the ministry expected growth this year to be around 6-7%, on better confidence for the country’s economy and transparency of the new government.

“The total trade had already surpassed the RM1 trillion mark in July.

“At this rate, we are confident of surpassing what was achieved last year,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation’s (Matrade) Fun Walk — Trade Fest 2018, in conjunction with its 25th anniversary here today.

Isham said the weaker ringgit had helped boost the country’s exports, judging from the increasing trend over the past few months.

For the first seven months of 2018, total trade expanded 6.1% to RM1.01 trillion while exports accelerated by 7.3% to RM565.72 billion.

Malaysia, he said, was also benefiting from the US-China trade war whereby the country was used as the export hub by those countries affected by the trade conflict.

However, this was seen as a temporary situation as the trade war would not benefit world trade in the long term, he added.

Isham said the real impact of the trade war had not been seen yet, adding it could perhaps only be assessed after a full cycle of one year after all the short-term sale contracts ended.

On foreign investments, he said Malaysia had also observed an increase in investors interested in setting up their manufacturing bases in the country to avoid the tariff war between the US and China.

However, this interest had not been fully realised yet, he noted.

The interest shown was seen in companies from countries such as the US, Indonesia and China, whose products were affected by the tariff war.

“Besides having strong fundamentals, Malaysia’s new government is among the factors attracting investors’ interest.

“The country is being viewed as having new aspirations to improve its government administration and corporate governance,” he added.

Meanwhile, on Matrade’s Trade Fest 2018, CEO Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros said the three-day event, beginning from Sept 20, served as a platform to provide small and medium entrepreneurs exposure to export activities.

He said with the advancement of digital technology, more local entrepreneurs were able to access the international market easily at a more effective cost.

Through the trade fest, Matrade aimed to give more exposure to the public on international trade through business talks and information on facilities provided by the agency as well as business matching, he added.

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