Malaysia's trade not much impacted despite fall in oil prices



JOHOR BAHRU: As Malaysia is not too dependent on the export of petroleum products, trade numbers this year have not been impacted badly, following the fall in oil prices.

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Ir Hamim Samuri said diversification, as well as an increase in exports of other products, had helped sustain the existing trade momentum.

At the same time, imports by other ASEAN countries has also helped enhance Malaysia's trade figures at present, he added.

"Exports of Malaysia's petroleum products were affected slightly with he drop in global crude oil prices, but this was replaced by the higher exports of other products.

"Crude oil prices have seemingly stablised of late," Hamim said.

He told reporters this after officiating the "Exporters Forum" 2015 programme at the Persada International Convention Centre here today.

Malaysia's exports last year reached RM766.13 billion, with the two biggest contributors being electrical and electronics (E and E) products valued at RM256.145 billion and petroleum products of RM70.356 billion.

Meanwhile, the country's trade in 2014 rose to RM1.45 trillion compared to RM1.37 trillion previously.

Hamim said the establishment of the National Export Council (NEC) last year and chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, had somewhat assisted in Malaysia's trade strategy.

"If we depended only on petroleum products, it would surely impact trade.

But through the NEC, we have other trade strategies to assist it," he added.

Earlier in his speech, Hamim said the establishment of the NEC was a comprehensive action plan to enhance Malaysia's trade in the midst of the uncertainty posed by the global market.

The council will act to improve exports by other means, including better facilitation, procedures and more transparent regulations, which will at the same time help spur the country's economic growth.

The "Exporters Forum 2015" was organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) and attended by 320 local entrepreneurs.

It is an effort by the government to encourage local companies to expand their business to the international arena.- Bernama

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