KUALA LUMPUR: The nation must find ways to turn the US-China trade war into opportunities, says Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
“A recent study was carried out on the effect of the trade war on 250 conglomerates and large companies.
“It was found from the responses that 24.7% stated their intention to relocate their operations to South-East Asia and Malaysia.
“This shows that Malaysia has the potential to face the trade war crisis and turn it into opportunities to attract investors to the country,” he said when answering a question raised by Awang Hashim (PAS-Pedang) in Parliament on Wednesday. (July 10).
According to Azmin, the country had several advantages as a gateway to penetrate the emerging Asean market comprising a population of almost 650 million.
He said that the ongoing trade way had resulted in increase in palm oil exports to China.
“The trade war has opened opportunities for the country to increase commodities exports to China, particularly palm oil as a substitute for soya and corn oil,” he said.
He added that Malaysia had signed an agreement to export 1.62 million tons of palm oil worth US$900mil (RM3.7bil) to China.
“Since January to April this year, palm oil exports to China had increased almost 255,000 tons worth RM1.4bil,” he said.
Despite the challenges posed by the trade war, Azmin assured lawmakers that the nation’s economy was on track to grow between the 4.3% and 4.8% target set for 2019.
He said emphasis would be placed on spurring the domestic economy as a catalyst of growth.