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Malaysia’s trade to grow at moderate pace this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade performance is expected to continue its growth momentum but at a moderate pace this year due to a high-base forecast in 2017.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said while this year’s trade volume is expected to be big, the growth percentage is projected to be smaller compared with last year as 2017 trade performance was forecast to be at RM1.8 trillion.

“If we look at the comparison of trade figures, 2017-2016 can be assumed as lower based, as 2016 recorded only about RM1.4 trillion in trade.

“For this year, our comparison based (2017) is expected to be at RM1.8 trillion. The volume is big, but the growth percentage would be lower,” he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the Export Day 2018, an event for exporters and trade-related agencies to gather network, here today.

He said that this year’s trade performance would be supported by positive economic indicators domestically and globally.

Meanwhile, Mustapa said the strengthening of the ringgit would not have a big impact on the export performance, as only certain companies were using the local currency for trade.

“We expect no major impact (on exports), some industries, such as rubber companies, will be slightly affected as they exporting using the ringgit (for trade),” he said, adding that however, the stronger ringgit would give a major impact on total trade this year.

Organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the Export Day 2018 is aimed at informing local companies on the latest export opportunities around the world, strategies to win global market demands and current issues in international trade.

MATRADE Chief Executive Officer Dr Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros said the event was an embodiment of MATRADE’s effort to create a conducive platform for the Malaysian business community to congregate and network and relish upon each other experiences in global business and entrepreneurship.

“It is crucial for the local business fraternity to meet so that they can compare notes and most importantly identify what are the things they could do differently to help them become export champions,” he said.

– BERNAMA

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