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Miti: Malaysia's global trade value exceeded RM2 tril from Jan-Oct 2023 despite global uncertainty

Publish date: Fri, 01 Dec 2023, 09:44 AM

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 30): Malaysia's trade performance for the January-October 2023 period was affected by high global inflation rates, commodity price uncertainty and a high base effect, according to the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti).

Miti said although Malaysia's export and import performances each decreased 8% for the January-October period, as compared to last year, Malaysia's global trade value has surpassed the RM2 trillion level, reaching a value of RM2.181 trillion.

“Exports have also crossed the RM1 trillion level to RM1.186 trillion, while imports are worth RM995.55 billion. Trade surplus shrank by 7.9% to RM190.04 billion," it said in a reply published on the Parliament website dated Wednesday.

Miti said this in reply to a question from Senator Datuk Shamsuddin Abd Ghaffar who asked the minister of Investment, Trade and Industry to state how Malaysia was faring amid economic uncertainty and geopolitical turmoil at the global level.

Miti said the declining performance was in line with most of Malaysia's major trading partners such as Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia and China, with each recording negative trade growth in the January-October 2023 period.

To address economic uncertainty and the current geopolitical crisis, the government through the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), an agency under Miti, has formulated various strategies and approaches.

Those strategies and approaches include Matrade increasing exports to markets under free trade agreements (FTAs) such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), with lower tariffs imposed on Malaysian goods such as palm oil, electrical & electronic (E&E) goods, automotive products and others.

Miti said that through a network of 46 overseas offices, Matrade plays a role in bringing quality foreign buyers to match with local companies at international trade fairs organised in Malaysia such as Oil & Gas Asia (OGA), Malaysia International Halal Exhibition (Mihas), Defence Services Asia (DSA) and the International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM).

It added that Matrade also took an approach in diversifying export destinations, especially to non-traditional markets such as Central Asia and Latin America, which show high potential - in the first ten months of 2023, exports to Central Asia recorded positive growth of 17.3% while exports to Latin America recorded positive growth of 3.9%.

Matrade implements various exporter development programmes to foster sustainability and sustainability practices among local industrialists in addition to facilitating Malaysian companies to penetrate the international market through the Market Development Grants (MDG).

Matrade also offers the services export fund, which is a refund grant to increase Malaysia's service exports, including the implementation of project studies, international tender bidding, travel costs for meetings with potential clients abroad and so on.

The government also implements the Overseas Trade and Investment Promotion Mission programme aimed at promoting Malaysia as a destination of choice for foreign direct investment as well as goods and services produced in Malaysia to increase exports, encourage bilateral investment and trade cooperation between governments, and further contributing to the economic development of the country.

“The initiatives that have been mentioned are among the government's efforts to increase the value of export trade which has decreased due to the uncertain global environment,” it said.

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