Thursday June 21, 2012
Steady trade with China and Europe
By LIZ LEE
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's trade with China and Europe is still steady, held up by domestic consumption in China and sustained investor interest from Europe.
International Trade and Industry Minister (Miti) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed maintains a positive outlook on trade and investments, saying that “based on data from January to April, we are still doing all right despite the slowdown in China.”
“We see good prospects this year and see continued moderate growth with China,” he said, citing positive China export, import and consumption figures.
“From what we hear, China has put in place a number of measures that will ensure the Chinese economy will continue to grow at a high rate. Given that we hope our trade with China will be sustained,” he told the media after launching Miti Report 2011.
He said that Malaysia continued to pull interest from Europe, citing bullish sentiments from Swiss companies he met earlier on.
“Trade with Europe is still growing albeit at a modest rate. The same goes with investments,” he said, adding that the ministry did not see “any serious threats on the horizon at this point in time”.
Mustapa also said sentiments coming from Europe suggested that there would not be a breakup of the European Union.
Mustapa said Miti would continue to position Malaysia as a preferred destination for investments in high-tech and knowledge-based industries.
“We will be setting up consolidated trade and investment centres globally, starting with Seoul, Shanghai, Frankfurt, New York and London to coordinate trade and investment activities more efficiently,” he said.
On the local front, Miti will set up regional centres to give businesses and the public access to its services more effectively. The first such will be in Malacca at the proposed Urban Transformation Centre.
The Miti report summarised Malaysia's trade performance for 2011, with its trade increasing 8.7% to RM1.269 trillion from 2010.
Export rose by 8.7% to a record high of RM694.5bil while import grew by 8.6% to RM574.2bil.
In total, the Malaysian economy increased by 5.1% from RM559.6bil to RM588.3bil last year.