Malaysia's total trade of service up 8.6% in 2017

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's total trade for services rose 8.6% to RM341.1 billion in 2017 from RM314.1 billion in 2016, accounting for 25.2% of the gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Department of Statistics.

Exports of services expanded to RM159.2 billion in 2017 from RM147.6 billion in 2016, mainly supported by travel especially on higher inbound tourist, other business services mainly on professional and management consulting services; and telecommunications, computer and information.

"The statistics shows Malaysia's strength in exports of services are mainly on travel, transport led by air passenger, contract manufacturing precisely in electrical and electronic products, business and management consulting and computer services. Malaysia has always gained from exports of travel due to the increasing tourist arrival especially from Singapore, Indonesia and China," said chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir in a statement.

Imports, on the other hand, grew 9.3% to RM182 billion supported by ongoing projects on oil and gas industries and high-value infrastructure projects have attributed to the strong expansion in imports of construction.

In 2017, the main destination for Malaysia's exports and imports of services were Asia which accounted for 70.4% and 68.2%, respectively. For Asia, Singapore remained the prominent partner for both exports and imports of services.