Second International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, said Malaysia’s trade performance was still strong and that included the car parts segment.
“The world motor vehicle market is vibrant like the handphone segment. For the car accessories, there are always a new market because the population of the younger generation is growing and they too want to own vehicles.
“We still can maintain the pace (of export), but we have to work harder to find new markets,” he said.
Ong said with the Government helping boost market access by signing free trade agreements with friendly countries, local firms needed to innovate and improve the quality of products to enter the new market.
He said this at a press conference after witnessing the signing of the joint-venture agreement between Azman Hamzah Plastik Sdn Bhd (AHP) and Sakamoto Research & Development Holdings Ltd, and the memorandum of understanding between Malaysia Automotive Institute and Sakamoto Mfg Malaysia Sdn Bhd in Cyberjaya on Monday.
“One of the ways the local sector can enhance itself is by having local vendors develop a strategic partnership with a foreign company, like the one between AHP and Sakamoto Group.
“And for the Sakamoto Group, it would also benefit by the many FTAs that Malaysia signed,” he said.
Ong said when the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement came into force, exporters from Malaysia would gain preferential access to new markets in the US, Canada, Mexico and Peru.
“Under TPPA, our accessories can go into America. In the past, it was very difficult because it highly tax. After signing FTA, the trade barrier will be eliminated,” he said.
On the overall trade performance, he said the total trade for the first six months of this year already achieved RM700 billion, almost half of last year’s figure of RM1.46 trillion.
“Work a little bit harder, I hope we can supersede the RM1.46 trillion. Hopefully, we can achieve RM1.5 trillion, to be better than last year.
“The slowdown in global economy does affect our trade in the current challenging time. The new market FTAs are to compensate some of shortfall. We can’t just sit and do nothing; if so, things will deteriorate,” he said. - Bernama