Malaysia is on track to achieve an export growth of 5% this year, which is higher than the average 3.3% among emerging markets and developing economies that was projected by the International Monetary Fund, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. “With a better export performance this year, we are confident that trade will be a major contributor towards delivering our economic growth of 4.3% to 4.8% in 2017 as projected by the central bank,” he said in a statement today.
Earlier today, the Statistics Department announced that Malaysia’s exports in March 2017 rose 24.1% year-on-year to RM82.6 billion on higher sales of crucial products like electrical and electronic (E&E) goods besides oil palm and crude oil-based items.
In a report today, MIDF Research said the country saw a record performance in its exports in March 2017, registering double-digit growth since December last year. In the first quarter of this year (1Q17), Malaysia’s exports grew 21.4% to RM224.7 billion compared with the 2.3% increase recorded in the same quarter last year.
“All key markets registered double-digit export growth in 1Q17, including Asean, which grew by 23.9%, China (39.9%), the United States (11.9%), the European Union (22.2%) and Japan (18.1%),” said Datuk Seri Mustapa.
On the regional front, the minister urged all parties to continue their efforts in addressing the issues surrounding non-tariff barriers and measures within Asean. This, he said, was in line with the proposal made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the recent Asean Summit in Manila on the need to establish an Asean scorecard on these issues. “We could look to better numbers in terms of intra-Asean trade if these issues could be resolved,” he added.
Meanwhile, MIDF Research is forecasting exports to grow 8.5% this year. “With looming protectionism threat and geopolitical risks remain as global challenges, major economies are experiencing gradual recovery in their domestic economy,” the research firm said.
“Modest improvement in commodities prices which is partly due to strengthening global demand will provide better prospect for Malaysia’s exports in 2017 especially the commodities-based products,” it added. MIDF Research also expects the external trade performance to perform better this year compared with 2016 given that “key global economic indicators are reflecting positive signs”.