KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Malaysia’s 2014 trade surplus registered double-digit growth of 16.6 per cent, a remarkable achievement when compared with the negative scenario in 2012 and 2013, says Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed yesterday.
“The growth impetus in exports resulted in a trade surplus of RM83.11 billion, representing Malaysia’s achievement of 17 consecutive years of trade surplus,” he told reporters at the unveiling of “Malaysia’s Trade Performance 2014”, here yesterday.
He said exports in 2014 rose by 6.4 per cent or RM46.14 billion to RM766.13 billion, surpassing the forecast export growth of six per cent in the 2014/2015 Economic Report.
Mustapa noted that the country’s imports increased by 5.3 per cent or RM34.32 billion to RM683.02 billion.
Malaysia’s total trade expanded by 5.9 per cent to reach RM1.45 trillion in 2014 compared with RM1.37 trillion in 2013.
He said the continued uptrend was supported by stronger than expected export growth.
He said major trading partners that contributed to the growth in trade were Asean countries, which grew by RM14.54 billion or 3.9 per cent.
It was followed by the European Union ( + RM8.35 billion or 6.2 per cent), the United States (+ RM8.01 billion or 7.4 per cent) and Australia (+RM7.48 billion or 16.4 per cent).
Other increases were Hong Kong (RM6.05 billion or 14.5 per cent), Taiwan(RM5.94 billion or 11.2 per cent) and followed by China (RM4.54 billion or 2.2 per cent).
“Expansion in exports was spurred by higher demand for manufactured products, in particular electrical and electronic (E&E) products and steady demand for commodities,” Mustapa said.
He added that with the exception of export commodities such as palm oil and rubber, other exports to China continued to be sustained.
“Higher exports were recorded for E&E products (+RM2.81 billion), petroleum products (+RM685.2 million), transport equipment (+RM242.6 million) and optical and scientific equipment (+RM299.5 million).
“There was also greater demand in emerging markets such as countries in Africa, Central Asia and South Asia,” Mustapa said.
He also said there were 16 markets which registered higher exports of over RM1 billion.
They were Singapore, the United States, India, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Korea, Kenya, Germany, Norway, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
These countries accounted for 64.7 per cent of Malaysia’s total exports.
On the other hand, trade with the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries registered a growth of 3.9 per cent to RM906.6 billion, with exports expanding 4.7 per cent to RM491.35 billion and imports growing at 2.9 per cent to RM415.25 billion.