KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is optimistic that Malaysia’s total exports projection of more than RM1 trillion set by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry can be achieved due positive catalysts and economic outlook moving forward.
Chief executive officer Datuk Wan Latiff Wan Musa said for January-May this year, Malaysia recorded total exports of RM405.36 billion, an increase of 0.3 per cent when compared with the same period last year.
“We managed to achieve 0.3 per cent growth in exports in the first six months, and we just need 0.2 per cent increase this year to exceed the RM1 trillion threshold,“ he told a media briefing on the bilateral relations between Malaysia and Europe here, today.
He said with the current uptrend in export, as well an increase in foreign direct investments (FDIs) inflows, exports were most likely to perform better in the second half of this year.
“As we all know, export is always better in the second half of the year as compared with the first half. September and October are usually good months for Malaysia (in term of exports) and I hope the current trade negotiations between the US and China would find common ground soon,” he added.
Meanwhile, Sage latest survey entitled ‘We Power the Nation’ revealed that 59 per cent Malaysian businesses are positive on trade performance moving forward despite the global trade challenges.
The report was commissioned to explore the impact of international trade on Malaysia, which also included data on 3,000 businesses across 12 countries.
Sage Asia’s vice president and managing director Arlene Wherrett said six out of 10 domestic businesses were optimistic that trade would improve in the next 12 months, driven by previous year’s healthy performance and profit growth, as well as stronger inter-regional trading prospects.
Despite volatility in the current global market due to the US-China trade war, Wherrett said the survey showed that Malaysian businesses continued to rely on key trading partners such as China (43 per cent), the US (27 per cent) and Japan (26 per cent).
Survey respondents reported that in the next 12 months, diversification of market would be a priority, given the current global trade uncertainties with 68 per cent of local firms said they were keen on exploring markets across Asia.
“After Asia, Malaysian businesses are seeing Australasia as the next most sought-after market (32 per cent), followed by Europe (30 per cent).
“These findings suggest that efforts to facilitate future development of trade, be it through export promotion programmes by the government or government-affiliated organisations, as well as inter-region collaborations should focus on these continents,” she added.