Ong: Trade surplus grew

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 07 Feb 2016

Press conference by Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade performance exceeded forecasts in 2015 with total trade up by 1.2% to RM1.466 trillion.

This was on the back of higher exports and imports which stood at RM779.95bil and RM685.65bil, respectively.

International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, who disclosed this, said the country registered a trade surplus of RM94.29bil last year, a 14.3% rate of growth from 2014’s RM82.48bil.

“This marked the 18th consecutive year that Malaysia has recorded a trade surplus.

“And all these were achieved despite the global economic turbulence,” he said at the “Malaysia Trade Performance 2015” event that was held at the Martrade building here.

Ong said the growth in exports was spearheaded by manufactured goods, which increased to 80.2% of total exports, from 76.7% in 2014.

“Our manufacturing prowess helped to substantially cushion the impact of lower commodity prices,” he added.

In terms of market destinations, Asean as a region remained the country’s leading trading partner and export destination, which acccounted for 27.4% of Malaysia’s total trade in 2015.

Exports to Asean expanded by 2.8% to RM219.29bil last year, led by greater inter-company linkages, cross-border trade and outsourcing activities within the region.

Imports grew by 3.7% to RM182.12bil.

“We expect our trade with Asean to grow substantially in the coming years with the formal establishment of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) last December.

“The AEC aims to create a single market and production base in the region,” Ong said.

Ong also said the US economy was expected to remain resilient.

“Europe will experience stronger private consumption and growth in Japan will remain firm.

“China will continue its economic rebalancing,” he added.

However, he said commodity prices were expected to remain under pressure.

“I encourage Malaysian companies to continue to promote and tap into the potential of the global marketplace.

“One should maximise the opportunities opened up by the FTAs that Malaysia has entered into, whether bilateral or multilateral,’’ the minister added.

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