Malaysia’s trade in 2016 grew by 1.5% to reach MYR1.49 trillion (US$333.78 billion) compared to MYR1.46 trillion in the previous year, remaining resilient despite the uncertainties in the global environment, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
The increase was contributed by higher trade with China, U.S., South Korea, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia. Significant increases were also recorded with Turkey, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Brazil, Bangladesh, ASEAN, and the European Union.
Exports rose by 1.1% to MYR785.93 billion, and imports increased by 1.9% to MYR698.66 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of MYR87.27 billion, the 19th consecutive year of trade surplus since 1998, MITI said.
Major contributors to export growth in 2016 included the expansion of manufactured and agricultural exports, compensating for the lower performance of mining goods; and the continued growth in electrical and electronics exports, driven by strong global demand for electronic devices.
Rising exports to ASEAN was also cited as a big factor. Exports to the association went up by 5.4% last year, with significant growth to Singapore, CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries, and the Philippines.
Malaysia also witnessed higher exports to free trade agreement partners and to advanced countries, in particular the U.S. and Euro zone countries Germany, Belgium, Italy, and Hungary.
Greater demand from emerging markets such as Mexico and countries in South Asia also boosted exports.
Meanwhile total trade in the fourth quarter of 2016 expanded by 3.9% to MYR407.65 billion compared to the same quarter in 2015. Exports increased by 2.8% to MYR217.58 billion, and imports rose 5% to MYR190.07 billion. This resulted in a trade surplus of MYR27.51 billion.
Compared with the third quarter of 2016, exports, imports, and total trade increased by 11.3%, 7.1%, and 9.3%, respectively, said the ministry.
In December 2016, Malaysia’s trade recorded a double-digit growth of 11.1% to MYR142.39 billion year-over-year. Significant increases in trade were recorded with China, ASEAN, Taiwan, the EU, Australia, South Korea, and Turkey.
A higher trade surplus of MYR8.72 billion was registered compared to December 2015, making it the 230th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.
Exports in December 2016 expanded by 10.7% year-on-year to MYR75.55 billion, the highest value in 2016.
Manufactured goods continued to support Malaysia’s exports. The share of manufactured goods to total exports was 80.9%, while agricultural and mining goods were 8.7% and 9.6%, respectively. Exports of all three key sectors recorded increases in December 2016, said MITI.
Photo: Orhanghazi at ms.wikipedia