News

  • 12 Mar 2020 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    Australia unveiled a A$17.6 billion ($11.4 billion) fiscal stimulus package geared toward the second quarter as it tries to buttress the economy from the coronavirus outbreak that threatens to end an almost 30-year recession-free run.

    The program announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison Thursday includes A$1.3 billion to safeguard the jobs of 120,000 apprentices and one-off cash payments to welfare recipients and lower-income households. The government will also spend A$6.7 billion to support the cash flow of small- and medium-sized firms to allow them to keep paying wages during the expected downturn.

    Morrison also announced the government will expand a tax write-off program with an additional A$700 million over four years to help businesses invest in new equipment.

    “This plan is about keeping Australians in jobs,” he told reporters in the courtyard outside his Parliament House office in Canberra. “This plan is about ensuring the Australian economy bounces back stronger on the other side and the budget bounces back with it.”

    The announcement sets up a fiscal-monetary injection for the economy after the Reserve Bank cut interest rates last week and is expected to do so again next month. Morrison joins international counterparts in opening the fiscal spigots to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus that shut down China and has since spread to other nations.

    More than $84 billion in worldwide budget support has already been pledged or is under consideration, with governments adopting a mix of cash handouts, tax breaks and transfers.

    Announced stimulus measures include:

    • Tax-free payments of up to A$25,000 for firms with revenues under A$50 million to help pay wages and improve cash flow
    • Payments of A$7,000 in wage assistance to small businesses each quarter for each apprentice they employ
    • An expanded instant tax write-off program to help around 3.5 million businesses with revenue up to A$500 million (from A$50 million previously) buy assets worth up to A$150,000 (from A$30,000 previously)
    • A one-off A$750 payment to welfare recipients such as pensioners and job seekers and households receiving family benefits
    • A A$1 billion fund to help tourism operators and some China-exposed exporters

    Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said modeling showed that A$11 billion of the package to be delivered by June 30 could add up to 1.5% to second-quarter growth. With the first quarter almost a write-off from the dual hit of wildfires and the coronavirus, the government is trying to avoid a second-straight quarterly contraction that would result in the first recession since 1991.

    But Frydenberg acknowledged it was unclear how the virus would evolve.

    Morrison estimated the package at 1.2% of gross domestic product. It follows the central bank’s March 3 cut that kicked off easing by counterparts including the Federal Reserve, Bank of Canada and Bank of England.

    The coronavirus has slammed Australia’s tourism and education sectors, which are expected to cut 0.5 percentage point from GDP in the first quarter. Government revenue is set to slide as firms’ profits plummet and commodity prices decline.

    The economic hit comes on top of a summer of devastating wildfires that were already expected to crimp growth.

    Markets have been volatile in recent weeks as investors try to price the risk of the economic fallout. Australia’s benchmark stock index fell as much 5.8% at 1p.m. Sydney time Thursday, slumping deeper into a bear market.

    Australia had 112 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday morning local time; actor Tom Hanks, who is in the nation to work on a movie, on Thursday revealed he and his wife had tested positive for the virus.

    Morrison announced Wednesday that his government will open as many as 100 pop-up clinics to test for the virus as part of a $1.6 billion health package. Worldwide, more than 124,000 people are infected and fatalities stand at more then 4,600.

    The stimulus package suggests the government is all but certain to fail to return the budget to its promised surplus. Morrison said the measures don’t extend beyond June 30 next year as he tries to avoid the “fiscal hangover” that dogged Australia’s response to the 2008-09 crisis.

    The then-Labor government won international plaudits for its fiscal response that included cash payments to households and programs to improve infrastructure at schools and insulation of housing. But the rushed nature of the response resulted in elements being bungled, including checks being sent to dead people, and the budget was thrown into deficit for years.

    S&P Global Ratings said Wednesday Australia’s AAA rating will remain intact despite the fiscal slippage, while joining Bloomberg Economics in forecasting the economy would nonetheless fall into a recession.

    Morrison’s reputation was tarnished during summer wildfires that engulfed the nation’s east coast amid heavy criticism of his performance, and his Liberal-National coalition government now trails the main opposition Labor party in opinion polls.

    The stimulus announced Thursday may help win back the electorate’s trust.

    Source: Bloomberg


  • 02 Mar 2020 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    KUANTAN: Lynas Corporation’s Malaysian operation has received a new three-year operating licence until early March 2023.

    The rare earth materials producer said the licence is subject to several key conditions, which it expects to be able to satisfy.

    Among the conditions, Lynas is to begin the process of developing the permanent disposal facility (PDF) within the first year from the date of the licence approval.

    Lynas is also required to submit a work development plan for the construction of the PDF and report on its development status as determined by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

    The company said in a statement that it would ensure the cracking and leaching plant outside Malaysia is in operation before July 2023.

    After that period, Lynas would no longer be allowed to import raw materials containing naturally-occurring radioactive material into Malaysia, said the statement yesterday.

    In the meantime, the holding of the financial deposit would be maintained for compliance with the licence conditions.

    Lynas stated that it deposited a total of US$50mil (RM210mil) in cash and bank guarantees with AELB and would seek access to the money to partially pay for the PDF project.Lynas Corporation CEO and managing director Amanda Lacaze thanked AELB for its decision to renew the operating licence.

    “This follows Lynas Malaysia’s satisfaction of the licence renewal conditions that were announced on Aug 16, 2019. We reaffirm the company’s commitment to our people, 97% of whom are Malaysians, and to contributing to Malaysia’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.

    “Over the past eight years, we have demonstrated that our operations are safe and that we are an excellent foreign direct investor. We have created over 1,000 direct jobs, 90% of which are skilled or semi-skilled, and we spend over RM600mil in the local economy each year,” said Lacaze in the statement.

    She also confirmed Lynas’ commitment to develop its cracking and leaching facility in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

    “We thank the Australian government, the government of Japan, the government of Western Australia and the city of Kalgoorlie Boulder for their ongoing support of our Kalgoorlie project,” said Lacaze.

    Meanwhile, Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas chairman Tan Bun Teet questioned whether all conditions and procedures had been fulfilled before the issuance of the licence by AELB.

    “Has the Department of Environment consulted with AELB on Lynas’ proposed site for its PDF? Is there a technical committee set up to scrutinise the plan? When can the public view and comment on the detailed environment impact assessment?” he asked.

    “And yet the licence has been renewed before all these are put in order. Isn’t AELB jumping the gun?”

    Tan called for transparency, saying that AELB must have solid grounds for renewing the operating licence and not base it on Lynas’ submission of documents and its claims of expert studies.

    Source: The Star

  • 21 Feb 2020 4:32 PM | Anonymous

    KUALA LUMPUR: MDEC has set up a new division called Global Growth Acceleration (GGA) to help boost high-potential Malaysian-headquartered tech companies to skyrocket on the global stage.

    The new division will spearhead the Global Acceleration and Innovation Network (GAIN) programme (https://gainconnex.com.my) that was launched by MDEC in 2015 to render business-growth interventions to local tech scale-ups, spanning the sectors of cloud, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), e-commerce, blockchain, cyber security, drone technology, robotics, finance, fintech, etc.

    “In a short time span, the GAIN Programme has achieved exceptional results, yielding a cumulative export revenue of over RM4 billion. We have also witnessed an upward trend of Malaysian tech companies expanding exponentially into the region. These success stories must be amplified without reservations,” said MDEC's CEO, Surina Shukri.

    She said that Malaysia is increasingly recognised as the destination of choice for digital initiatives in Asean, and the country has been actively rolling out business-friendly initiatives and policies to encourage higher foreign direct investment.

    “The Malaysian government has laid a strong foundation for stable and sustainable economic growth. The time is ripe for tech entrepreneurs around the world to capitalise on Malaysia’s potential as the Heart of Digital Asean,” she said.

    On hand to brief representatives from Malaysia’s leading tech companies was MDEC's vice president of GGA, Gopi Ganesalingam, who shared the refreshed mandate of the new division and key initiatives for the year.

    “Beginning 2020, the GAIN programme will be embracing prolific tech startups to leverage on the tried and tested growth-intervention strategies that we have been deploying for tech scale-ups. This will allow MDEC to provide clear end-to-end expansion support for Malaysian tech companies at all growth stages,” said Gopi.

    Asean is on track to become the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2030 and the Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia projects that Asean’s digital economy is expected to expand 6.4 times from US$31 billion (RM130 billion) in 2015 to US$197 billion by 2025.

    “As Asean’s digital economy is increasingly driven by younger tech-savvy entrepreneurs, we welcome companies to leverage on our eight tech ecosystems in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Australia and United Arab Emirates. With over 200 strategic partners consisting government and trade agencies, investors, business associations, resellers, end customers and regional media, the GAIN Programme has positioned itself as a credible business growth enabler that has united the digital Asean landscape,” said Gopi.

    The success of the GAIN Programme is attributed to MDEC’s year-round growth intervention initiatives, grounded on four unique pillars:

    • Gateway (curated market access and business matching events at regional and international levels);

    • Amplify (high-impact visibility initiatives to elevate the credibility of GAIN companies);

    • Invest (facilitation of funding discussions with venture capitalists, private equity and other funding avenues);

    • Nurture (involvement in professional development with influential mentors and aspiring mentees).

    Also present at the GGA Kick-off 2020 were founders of three prominent Malaysian tech companies - Forest Interactive, Innovate2U and Softspace.

    Today, many mature GAIN companies are adopting the ‘pay-it-forward’ approach by mentoring younger tech companies in specific aspects of business, similar to the culture practised at Silicon Valley in the US.

    Source: New Straits time

  • 09 Jan 2020 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) together with its sister companies under the Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) pledged to contribute RM1 from its ticket sales to support relief and recovery efforts for those affected by bushfires in Australia.

    MAS said it will contribute RM1 from ticket sales of each passenger flown by the airline for the month of January 2020.

    “The airline is also working with the National Disaster Relief Management Agency (NADMA) Malaysia to fly in volunteers if required by the Australian government,” it said.

     MAG group chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail said he is concerned on the escalating bush fire that has ravaged many parts of Australia, forcing several areas to be declared state of emergency.

    “Malaysia Airlines is a global company that operates in 20 countries around the world. Australia has always been close to our hearts, having had one of our earliest cadet pilot and engineer training there. 

    “The Australian government has also provided us various forms of assistance during our time of difficulty.

    “Our employees in Australia and their families are saddened by the situation and our other employees globally who share their sorrow, have been asking how they can help to ease the situation,” Izham said. 

    He said due to the severity of the situation, MAS have decided to make a monetary contribution in addition to supporting NADMA in their aid on behalf of the country. 

    “It has been reported that the fires have generated violent weather, which can influence regional and global climate. 

    We are committed to not just limit our assistance in the form of monetary, but we have also initiated discussions with various organisations that can offer skills and expertise in the recovery of the ecosystems,” he said.

    MAS said the airline has been in touch with the Australian High Commission in Malaysia to channel the proceeds towards wildlife protection, the firefighter benevolent fund and Red Cross, the major organisation managing the affected people.

    “We pray that the situation can be contained very soon. We sincerely hope that our contribution will help ease some of the burden of the Australian people. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and the families of those who perished in the fires,” added Izham.

    Malaysia Airlines flies to five cities in Australia (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth) and operates 53 flights a week to the country.

    Source : New Straits Times

  • 07 Jan 2020 6:38 PM | Anonymous

    KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking today expressed his sympathy to Australia for the devastating bushfire incidents that are ravaging the southeast part of the country.

    Darell said Malaysia recognises that global climate change has brought about effects that have resulted in increased frequency, magnitude and scope of natural disasters like wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

    “Every economy has now become vulnerable to this threat and we must, therefore, be prepared in managing the situation individually as an economy and collectively as a region.

    “These natural disasters present great challenges to our global supply chain, affect people’s health and mobility as well as threaten the lives of animals and endangered species,” he said in a statement today.

    As the host of Apec 2020, Darell said Malaysia stands by Australia in support of its efforts to fight the wildfires and Malaysians pray that the situation will return to normalcy soon.

    “We also call on all Apec member economies to come together in support of similar efforts to better mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies and natural disasters across our region,” he added.

    Source : The Malay Mail

  • 06 Jan 2020 2:31 PM | Anonymous

    KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 -- Malaysia stands ready to extend necessary assistance to Australia in its ongoing bushfire crisis, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

    She said this includes the deployment of National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) personnel, the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) and assets to help put out the fires and to support rescue operations in Australia.

    “I am deeply saddened to learn about the massive bushfires that have caused the loss of lives and extensive damage in Australia.

    “On behalf of the government of Malaysia, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the victims, their families and all those affected. Our prayers are with the people of Australia during this difficult period,” she said in her official Facebook account today.

    According to media reports, a total of 24 people have been killed and almost 2,000 homes destroyed in the bushfires that have ravaged three Australian states, burning about five million hectares of land.

    Meanwhile, in a statement, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said Malaysia stands in solidarity with Australia as firefighting teams and emergency services personnel work tirelessly around the clock to battle the blazes.

    “This crisis has underscored the devastating impact of climate change globally. Therefore, steadfast commitment towards implementing sustainable policies and collective action by all countries is needed to arrest this trend and prevent it from getting progressively worse.

    “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected,” he said.

    Source : Bernama

  • 19 Dec 2019 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    With a strong history of educational links between Australia and Malaysia, it came as no surprise that Australia Education Minister Dan Tehan chose Malaysia as his first international official visit since he took office in August last year.

    “Malaysia is an important partner when it comes to education and I wanted to come to Malaysia given the rich history that we have between the two countries,” Tehan said.

    The Colombo Plan saw over 20,000 talented young students from around the Asia Pacific region, including Malaysia, studying in Australia from the 1950s to the mid-1980s.

    Tehan was appointed as Education Minister in August last year following the succession of Malcom Turnbull as Prime Minister of Australia. Prior to this appointment, Tehan served as Social Services Minister.

    He was described by The Sydney Morning Herald as a person with a reputation of “a likeable and reliable fixer” that led to his installment in the education portfolio.

    He remained as Education Minister under Prime Minister Scott Morrison following the 2019 Australian federal election in May this year.

    During the visit, Tehan attended the inauguration of University of Wollongong (UOW) Malaysia KDU campus.

    He also delivered an address at University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) as part of the university’s Global Talk Series and visited research facilities at Monash University Malaysia.

    “More than 23,500 Malaysian students are currently studying in Australia and our universities are working together on world-leading research that will make a difference in both countries.

    “Our new Colombo Plan provides incentives and support for Australian students to study in Malaysia. We also have 7,500 Australian students who have come to Malaysia over the last decade to study here.

    “One of the things I’ve really enjoyed while in Malaysia has been exploring the policies that we have in Australia and exchanging views about what happens here in Malaysia.

    “This visit has been quite extraordinary because everywhere I go, I would bump into someone who has studied in Australia or their children have studied in Australia. It creates warmth between our two nations,” said Tehan.

    In an exclusive interview with Higher Ed, Tehan shared details of the new offerings for international students to study in Australia and his take on the importance of partnerships between both countries in education and research.

    WITH the international education sector being Australian’s fourth biggest export earner amounting to around A$37 billion (RM105 billion), Tehan stressed that Australia wants to continue to welcome international students.

    “We have 39 universities in Australia and all of them are high-class universities. Besides that, students’ satisfaction rate with their experience of studying in Australia is in the high 90s.”

    However, he said there has been some focus towards Melbourne and Sydney as the traditional destinations when there are various other programmes for international students to study across the nation.

    “We want to make sure that international students also look into other parts of Australia that are extremely welcoming for them to study at as well.”

    He added that the government is keen to ensure that students consider other parts of Australia like Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns or Hobart.

    “We want students to go to every part of our great nation to visit and study. For instance, I represent a rural electorate. And Deakin University has a campus in Warrnambool, near the Great Ocean Road.”

    He said they are also providing incentives through scholarships for students to study in Australia including work rights.

    “Our Destination Australia programme is a scholarship that will support the study and living expenses associated with studying a qualification at a regional campus of an eligible tertiary education provider.

    “We’re using an incentive programme so that we’ll get a better dispersal for our international students market. Through this, you’ll get A$15,000 (RM42,000) to come and stay in Australia.”

    He said the government also offers post-study work rights that allow a two-year ability to work in Australia after finishing one’s degree.

    “Students appreciate the ability not only to study but also to work. The experience from working and studying here puts you in a very

    good state for employment opportunities when you return home. It’s one of the reasons why the international education market in Australia continues to grow.

    “If you come and study in Australia, you can stay for an additional two years, and in some cases three to four years to work in Australia post higher education.

    “Additionally, if you study in regional and rural parts of Australia, you’ll get a greater ability to stay afterwards when you finish your degree to work.

    He added that they are also looking at getting graduate apprenticeship — of students spending a year or six months in an industry or business — as part of the degree programme and student experience.

    PARTNERSHIPS

    Tehan pointed out that roughly 23 per cent of Australia’s international student market is offshore investment by their universities in other countries formed by two-way partnerships.

    “Partnerships will enable us to continue to

    grow our education cooperation with other countries,” he said, adding that the recent launch between UOW and KDU is a successful partnership that the Australian government is looking to encourage.

    “I was pleased to launch a new partnership of an Australian university that will be cementing its relationship in Malaysia to provide higher education.

    “UOW has a very different approach to international education than other universities as they believe in investing offshore to grow their business.

    “UOW has a campus in Malaysia now, and also in Hong Kong and Dubai as well as many parts of Australia. If you’re a young student you have an opportunity as part of your degree to study

    in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Dubai. I believe this would be a wonderful opportunity with the possibility of studying at three different campuses.”

    He said in any strategic partnerships, the agreement should benefit both countries.

    “For a two-way partnership to work, it has to be beneficial for two countries. It has to work in Australia’s interest and it has to work in Malaysia’s interest. If we can do that, we will guarantee success.

    Tehan added with Malaysia hosting APEC next year there is potential to look further into initiatives in the tertiary education space.

    “I’ve deliberately come to Malaysia as I feel there’s a lot of work that we can continue to build on.

    “It is also my hope that over time, Australian students studying in Malaysia will also be able to enjoy some of the benefits that Malaysian students enjoy in Australia because that two-way approach to the exchange of students is important,” he said.

    RESEARCH

    Besides partnerships between universities, Tehan said that Australia is also keen on developing the relationship between industries, business and the university sector further.

    “Research in Australia continues to grow. And the government continues to invest in research in Australia because it’s so important for our future economic growth. There are many things that we are exploring to continue to expand the research budget in Australia.

    “The more we can grow that partnership, the more we can grow our research budget.”

    Tehan said in expanding collaborations and ideas, it is also important that there is a greater interchange of PhD students moving between higher education sector along with industries and business.

    “If you’re a Malaysian student, looking to do post-doctoral work or doctoral work, I would highly recommend going to Australia. Right across the board, we offer excellent educational experiences.

    “We’re very fortunate in Australia that we have research occurring right across many fields. Our international ranking means that we are highly and widely regarded across the board in what we do, from humanities to science and the medical sphere.

    “I’m very confident that there is no problem that we can’t solve if we put the money into the research that we make to solve the world’s problems. Whether it be climate change or unused plastics or lifting people from poverty.”

    Tehan said that all these issues will be solved through education and so it is fundamental to what a country does as a nation.

    “During my meeting with Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali earlier, we discussed about getting greater research collaboration in agriculture, how we can continue to grow vocational education and how we can build on the research relationship in technology.

    “We want to see the research relationship to continue to develop between Malaysia and Australia.”

    Source : New Straits Times

  • 16 Dec 2019 5:24 PM | Anonymous

    PETALING JAYA: About 74% of business leaders are “cautiously proactive” of their company’s prospects for the next 12 months despite external concerns such as the US-China trade war and Brexit, according to the Malaysian Business Sentiment Survey 2019/2020 launched this morning.

    Many leaders are adopting business strategies to improve operational efficiency, quality of products and services, expand market reach and improve branding and market positioning.

    About 69% of respondents believe that their business conditions will be better in 2020 if they put in place strategies to enhance their innovative capabilities using the best talent, leadership styles, technology and business models.

    Business leaders are of the view that competitive firms are able to find new opportunities amid the escalating trade war between the US and China and the uncertain economic environment in Europe.

    The Malaysian Business Sentiment Survey is a joint initiative between Monash University Malaysia and CPA Australia.

    Source : The Sun Daily

  • 16 Dec 2019 11:54 AM | Anonymous

    KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) plans to engage with 15,000 local companies next year via its Exporters Development (ED) and Export Promotion (EP) programmes.

    Matrade deputy chief executive officer Sharimahton Mat Saleh said the corporation has outlined 315 ED and 72 EP programmes.

    “The programmes focuses on creating more export champions in high-value sectors; utilisation of digital platforms; inclusiveness; tapping on current market trends and forging strategic collaborations,” she told a media briefing on the Matrade Annual Work Programme (AWP) 2020 here, today.

    She said the ED programmes are specifically designed to equip Malaysian companies with the necessary knowledge and skills to develop their strategic advantage, with particular focus on promoting sustainability as stipulated in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

    “Matrade will focus on promoting Malaysian companies involved in sustainability efforts to make Malaysia a source for sustainable products and services.

    “Global marketplaces are demanding for more options in sustainable products or services. There is a growing trend among global retailers, distributors and sellers in sourcing products or services that emphasise on the well-being of the environment and society,” she added.

    Going into 2020, Sharimahton said Matrade will be doubling its efforts to create more business opportunities for Malaysian companies, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and mid-tier companies (MTCs).

    This, she said, will be done through strategic engagements with the public and private sector in Malaysia and overseas to identify new export opportunities in both conventional and emerging sectors.

    Additionally, Matrade will also continue to add value to its signature ED programmes, namely eTRADE; Bumiputera, Women and Youth Exporters Development Programme; Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme; Mid-Tier Ramp Up Programme; and Large Corporation & SME Partnership Programme.

    Aside from various trainings and seminars, it will also be organising its signature conferences, namely National Export Day and the Sustainability-Ready Exporters Conference.

    On EP, Sharimahton said the programmes will include participation in international trade fairs and trade missions (Export Acceleration Mission and Trade & Investment Mission), as well as the business matching programme, International Sourcing Programme.

    She said 58 per cent of the EP programmes will be held in Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) member countries such as China, the United States, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia, in line with Malaysia’s role as the host for Apec 2020.

    The EP programmes will focus on key export sectors such as services; building materials; aerospace and maritime; food and beverages; oil and gas; lifestyle as well as medical and pharmaceutical.

    Matrade will also be organising the Malaysia International Halal Showcase from April 1-4, 2020 and the Kuala Lumpur International Aerospace Business Conference from June 23–25, 2020.

    “Our engagements with companies will also be focusing on driving Malaysian SMEs and MTCs to be more prepared in areas such as sustainability, digital transformation, Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Revolution 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence,” added Sharimahton.

    Source : The Malay Mail

  • 05 Dec 2019 3:07 PM | Anonymous

    KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Malaysia’s trade surplus in October 2019 rose 2.8 per cent to RM17.33 billion, compared with RM16.85 billion registered in October 2018,  the 264th consecutive months of trade surplus since November 1997.

    In a statement today, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) said total trade decreased by 7.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM163.86 billion; imports declined 8.7 per cent while exports contracted by 6.7 per cent.

    However, Miti said Malaysia’s exports in October 2019 stood at RM90.59 billion, the highest monthly export value recorded in 2019.

    “Higher exports were registered to Singapore, Taiwan, the United States (US) and Russian Federation while lower exports were recorded to Australia, China, Japan, Thailand and India,” it said.

    Exports of manufactured goods in October 2019 which attributed 85.8 per cent of total exports contracted by 4.5 per cent to RM77.76 billion, while exports of optical and scientific equipment hit a new monthly record high of RM4.03 billion, with a double-digit expansion of 17.6 per cent from October 2018.

    Miti said exports of mining goods declined by 24.6 per cent to RM6.78 billion, mainly due to declining exports of crude petroleum, on account of lower export volume and Average Unit Value (AUV).

    However, exports of crude petroleum grew by RM294.4 million to Singapore.

    It said exports of agriculture goods were lower by 8.9 per cent to RM5.57 billion mainly due to contraction in exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, especially palm oil, while exports of palm oil recorded a contraction of 9.8 per cent y-o-y to RM3.26 billion, as a result of the decline in export volume and AUV.

    Trade with Asean in October 2019 decreased by 6.3 per cent y-o-y to RM45.93 billion, with exports lower by 2.8 per cent to RM26.69 billion, while imports contracted by 10.7 per cent to RM19.25 billion.

    Trade with China in October 2019 which represented 16.8 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade or RM27.46 billion, decreased by 8.6 per cent y-o-y; exports contracted by 11 per cent at RM13.59 billion and imports declined by 6.2 per cent to RM13.87 billion.

    Trade with the US rose by 4.6 per cent to RM15.13 billion; exports to the US continued to grow for seven straight months with an increase of 2.7 per cent y-o-y to RM8.87 billion while imports gained by 7.5 per cent to RM6.26 billion.

    Trade with the European Union decreased by 9.2 per cent y-o-y to RM14.35 billion; exports amounted to RM8.12 billion, contracted by 5.2 per cent while imports totalled RM6.23 billion, lower by 13.8 per cent.

    Trade with Japan contracted by 10.1 per cent y-o-y to RM11.02 billion; exports totalled RM5.42 billion, decreased by 20.1 per cent while imports rose by 2.3 per cent to RM5.6 billion.

    For the month under review, trade with Free Trade Agreement partners declined by 8.9 per cent y-o-y; exports decreased 10.6 per cent to RM54.61 billion while imports contracted by 6.9 per cent to RM47.7 billion.

    Source : The Malay Mail

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