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Miti: Malaysia’s exports jump 25% in 2022 to RM1.6 trillion in record-breaking trade performance

Miti: Malaysia’s exports jump 25% in 2022 to RM1.6 trillion in record-breaking trade performance

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade performance in 2022 surpassed RM2 trillion for the second consecutive year and registered the fastest growth since 1994, with exports expanding 25 per cent to RM1.55 trillion.

Imports breached RM1 trillion for the first time, jumping by 31.3 per cent to RM1.29 trillion.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz (pix) said the trade surplus increased by 0.6 per cent to RM255 billion, representing the 25th consecutive year of trade surplus since 1998.

“In 2022, Malaysia’s trade continued to demonstrate a remarkable performance and registered another record-breaking achievement with trade, exports, imports, and trade surplus soaring to a new high,” he said in a statement today.

He noted that this was “a positive reflection that the nation’s trade performance is on an upward trajectory, boosted by higher external demand and strong commodity prices.”

“In terms of markets, exports to major trading partners notably Asean, China, the United States (US), the European Union (EU), and Japan registered a new record high,” he added.

Trade with Malaysia’s important and strategic trading partner, Asean, rose by 34 per cent to RM772 billion from the previous year, while trade with Asean accounted for 27.1 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade in 2022.

Tengku Zafrul said significant export growth was also recorded in emerging markets, notably Egypt, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Togo, Djibouti, and Afghanistan, while exports to free trade agreement (FTA) partners registered the highest value thus far.

“Meanwhile, exports to markets under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement posted double-digit expansion.

“Exports of manufactured, agriculture and mining sectors registered an all-time high with double-digit growth,” he noted.

The growth was driven by robust exports of electrical and electronic products, petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, palm oil and palm oil-based products, crude petroleum as well as machinery, equipment and parts with each product segment recording over a RM10 billion increase with double-digit growth.

“All these products also posted the highest export value ever except crude petroleum,” he said.

“Despite the challenging global landscape, we will continue to enhance the promotion of international trade and exports to reinforce business resilience and sustain the economic growth momentum,” the minister added.

For December 2022, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) said in the same statement that Malaysia’s trade remained sturdy with trade, export, and imports registering new record highs for the month, in which trade rose by 8.6 per cent to RM236.02 billion compared to December 2021.

“Exports increased by 6 per cent to RM131.89 billion and imports were higher by 12 per cent to RM104.13 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM27.76 billion, a decrease of 11.8 per cent,” it noted.

On the outlook for 2023, Miti expects Malaysia’s trade performance to grow at a softer pace in tandem with the outlook by World Trade Organisation (WTO), which anticipated global trade to grow by 1 per cent.

“In 2023, Malaysia’s trade is expected to grow by 1.3 per cent, while exports and imports are estimated to increase by 2.2 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively, as reported by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in its Economic Outlook 2023,” it said.

The ministry said inflationary pressures, prolonged geopolitical tensions, exporters’ capacity in meeting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) market demands, disruptions in global supply chains, and volatility in commodity prices would weigh on trade.

“Nevertheless, continuous demand for manufactured goods, especially electrical and electronic products, will support trade growth due to technological advancement,” it added. -Bernama