KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's trade performance for the period from January to October 2023 has been affected by the world economic situation which is not encouraging with high global inflation rates, commodity price uncertainty and a high base effect, according to the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI).
MITI said although Malaysia's export and import performances have each decreased by eight per cent for the period from January to October 2023 compared to last year, Malaysia's global trade value has surpassed the RM2 trillion level, reaching a value of RM2.181 trillion.
“Exports have also crossed the RM1 trillion level to RM1.186 trillion while imports are worth RM995.55 billion. Trade surplus shrank by 7.9 per cent to RM190.04 billion," it said in a reply published on the Parliament website dated Nov 29.
MITI said this in reply to a question from Senator Datuk Shamsuddin Abd Ghaffar who asked the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry to state how Malaysia faces the situation of economic uncertainty and geopolitical turmoil at the global level so that the trade value of exports is not affected and can even be improved.
MITI said the declining performance is in line with most of Malaysia's major trading partners such as Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia and China where each recorded negative trade growth in the period from January to October 2023.
In order to face the situation of economic uncertainty and the current geopolitical crisis, the government through the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), an agency under MITI, has formulated various strategies and approaches.
Those strategies and approaches include MATRADE increasing exports to markets under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with lower tariffs imposed on Malaysian goods such as palm oil, electrical & electronic (E&E) goods, automotive products and others.
MITI said that through a network of 46 overseas offices, MATRADE plays a role in bringing quality foreign buyers to match with local companies at international trade fairs organised in Malaysia such as Oil & Gas Asia (OGA), Malaysia International Halal Exhibition (MIHAS), Defence Services Asia (DSA) and the International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM).
It added that MATRADE also took an approach in diversifying export destinations, especially to non-traditional markets such as Central Asia and Latin America which show high potential i.e. in the first ten months of 2023, exports to these markets recorded positive growth by 17.3 per cent and 3.9 per cent.
MATRADE implements various exporter development programmes to foster sustainability and sustainability practices among local industrialists in addition to facilitating Malaysian companies to penetrate the international market through the Market Development Grant (MDG).
MATRADE also offers the Services Export Fund (SEF) which is a refund grant to increase Malaysia's service exports including the implementation of project studies, international tender bidding, travel costs for meetings with potential clients abroad and so on.
The government also implements the Overseas Trade and Investment Promotion Mission (MGPP) programme aimed at promoting Malaysia as a destination of choice for foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as goods and services produced in Malaysia to increase exports, encourage bilateral investment and trade cooperation between governments, and further contributing to the economic development of the country.
“The initiatives that have been mentioned are among the government's efforts to increase the value of export trade which has decreased due to the uncertain global environment,” it said.
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