KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 (Bernama) — Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) expects total trade between Malaysia and China to increase to US$110 billion (US$1 = RM4.17) this year from US$102 billion last year.
Matrade Chief Executive Officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud said the increase would be driven by a commitment made by both nations to increase two-way trade to US$160 billion by 2017.
“Despite the current economic challenges, China remains our important trading partner whereby during the first eight months of this year, our trade with China increased 9.6 per cent to RM147.55 billion.
“Our exports to China rose 9.3 per cent to RM65.17 billion while imports rose 9.8 per cent to RM82.18 billion,” he told a press conference after officiating the “Leveraging on Renminbi to Enhance Exports to China” seminar here Monday.
The half-day seminar was organised by Matrade as part of its effort to encourage local companies to use renminbi in their trade with China due to its stable and consistent nature and mitigate foreign exchange losses.
Dzulkifli said despite the benefits of using the currency, only less than five per cent of trade between Malaysia and China were transacted in renminbi as traders were still used to currencies like the US dollar and Euro.
“We hope the usage of the renminbi will increase with programmes like this because the reliance on the US dollar has its disadvantages due to foreign exchange fluctuations,” he said.
On the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), which has yet to be signed and passed in Parliament, Dzulkifli said it would be a good platform for a trading nation like Malaysia.
He said the TPPA not only would expand the businesses of local companies abroad, but also benefit companies which import raw materials before exporting their end products.
Moody’s Investors Service, in a note today, said that the pact is credit positive for all 12 participating sovereigns, especially those in Asia.
Specifically for Malaysia, it said palm oil, rubber and electronics exporters would see substantial value from the trade deal.