KUALA LUMPUR,. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (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, Datuk Isham Ishak.
He said the ministry expected growth this year to be around 6 to 7 per cent on better confidence for the country’s economy and transparency of the new government.
“The total trade had already surpassed RM1 trillion mark in July, and at this growth 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 the celebration of its 25th anniversary here, today.
Isham said the weaker ringgit had helped boost the country’s export, judging from the increasing trend over the past few months.
For the first seven months of 2018, total trade expanded 6.1 per cent to RM1.01 trillion while export accelerated by 7.3 per cent 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 investment, he said Malaysia had also observed an increase in investors’ interest to set up their manufacturing base in the country to avoid the tariff war between the US and China, however, he noted the interest had not been realised yet.
The interest was from 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 that attract investors interest as it is being viewed as having a new aspiration to improve the government administration and corporate governance,” he added.
Meanwhile,on Matrade’s Trade Fest 2018, Chief Executive Officer Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros said the three-day event, beginning from September 20, served as a platform to provide exposure for small and medium entrepreneurs 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, among them, by giving business talks and information on facilities provided by the agency as well as business matching, he added. — Bernama