Its Second Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, said for January-June this year, total trade grew by 1.2 per cent to RM700 billion from RM694 billion in the same period of last year.
He said the electrical and electronics sector contributed the bulk to trade volume with the rest from chemical, commodity and furniture sectors.
“If we can record RM800 billion for the second half of 2016, then it is the best as we can reach RM1.5 trillion in total trade and surpassed last year’s performance of RM1.46 trillion,” he told reporters after officiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Penang Roadshow here today.
He said despite the slowdown in the global economy, Malaysia has strong fundamentals and was well-positioned to face any volatility.
Ong said due to political uncertainty in US and European Union and UK crisis, the investors had now shifted their focus on Asia.
“The uncertainty in the global economy will offer opportunities for us to attract investors and we should improve the rules and regulations and friendliness in doing business,” he said.
He said Malaysia also faced challenges from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore in wooing investors.
“We need to continue improve our ecosystem and infrastructure to stay competitive in the global market,” he said.
MITI announced yesterday that Malaysia’s export sector continued to stay on a positive note with the trade surplus in the first half of this year increasing to RM41.79 billion from RM41.69 billion registered in the same period of 2015.
It said June’s trade surplus was RM5.52 billion, making it the 224th consecutive month of trade surpluses recorded since November 1997.