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Malaysia total trade at RM1.8t in 2017

Minister says the figure represented a phenomenal year for trade growth

By D KANYAKUMARI / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MALAYSIA recorded a total trade of RM1.8 trillion in 2017, with over RM856.06 billion generated from exports alone.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said up till November last year, the figure represented a phenomenal year for trade growth.

However, he said that the growth for 2018 would not be of the same scale.

“The total trade in the first 11 months of 2017 grew by 20.8% compared to the same period in 2016. As for exports, it totalled to RM856.06 billion, which was a 20.4% growth.

“Besides that, the trade surplus recorded during that period grew 13.6% to RM89.98 billion,” he said at a press conference after launching the Export Day 2018 in Kuala Lumpur.

Mustapa said exports in 2017 contributed up to 70% to the country’s gross domestic product with electrical and electronic products being the top contributor.

He added that while 2016 was a year of “low base” for trade, 2017 was that of a “high base”.

“That is why the growth rate from 2016 to 2017 was so high. As for 2018, the total amount will still be high, but the growth from last year to this year will not be as stark.

“However, the world economy in 2018 is expected to be high, so we are looking forward to a lot of healthy trades,” he said.

Mustapa also said the market development grant (MDG) by the government, which was suspended for a few years, has been reinstated.

“The MDG has thus far given up to RM200 million for businesses since 2012. Since 2012 up until 2016, a total of 9,689 companies benefitted from it.

In 2017 alone 1,567 companies benefitted from it,” he said.

Under the MDG programme, each business is given a grant of up to RM200,000 for the eligible expenses with five main sectors benefitting from it.

“The top sector is food which makes up 12.05% of the total followed by the beverage sector with 11.61%.

“This is followed by pharmaceutical (6.64%), furniture (6.25%) and building and construction materials (6.06%),” he said.

The MDG, introduced in 2002, was reinstated as of Jan 1, 2018 after it was suspended in 2017.

The MDG’s objective remains as part of the efforts to support Malaysian exporters’ core expenses in promoting Malaysian products or services.

The facilitation of MDG is said to be one of a kind in the country, as far as government assistance goes.

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