KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 (Bernama) — Bilateral trade between Malaysia and China hit RM170.6 billion in the first nine months of the year, up 1.3 per cent when compared with the same period a year ago.
Second Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said of this figure, finished products contributed RM154.7 billion, followed by agricultural products (RM9.2 billion) and minerals (RM6 billion).
“For the same period, Malaysia’s imports from China rose 9.1 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach RM102.7 billion,” he added.
Exports, however, dropped 8.5 per cent y-o-y to RM67.9 billion.
Lee attributed this to weakened exports in electrical and electronic products, as well as lower demand for commodities such as palm oil, liquefied natural gas and natural rubber, due to a slowdown in growth of the world’s second largest economy.
He said this while delivering his opening remarks at the China (Dezhou)- Malaysia Economic Trade and Investment Corporation Seminar here, today. He said in September, bilateral trade rose 1.3 per cent to RM21.2 billion, accounting for 16.6 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade volume.
“For the same month, exports to China dropped one per cent y-o-y. This was due to the decline in exports in the manufacture of metal and petroleum products.
“Imports from China, however, grew three per cent y-o-y,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation’s (Matrade) ASEAN Unit Director, Raja Badrulnizam Raja Kamalzaman said the January-September bilateral trade performance was the first deficit recorded between China and Malaysia for this year.
“We hope by end-2016, trade will grow and match last year’s performance,” he added.
He encouraged more small and medium enterprises to invest in e-commerce, retail shops or franchising to open up the Chinese market and help boost exports from Malaysia to the country.
“We also encourage more companies to adopt new, creative and innovative approaches to enter the Chinese market,” Raja Badrulnizam said.
He said despite China remaining Malaysia’s largest trading partner, the trade volume with ASEAN, as a group, was still higher in comparison, while Singapore was Malaysia’s top export destination.
“We are open to investments from any country that benefits us. We are not solely reliant on investments from China,” he added.
Last year, trade between Malaysia and China rose by 11.1 per cent y-o-y to RM230.9 billion. Exports to China jumped 10 per cent y-o-y to RM101.3 billion.