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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        3  February 2011

Total Malaysian trade In 2010 topped US$38.6 billion

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Malaysia's total trade in 2010 surpassed the RM1 trillion mark to register RM1.169 trillion (US$38.6 billion), attributed to an impressive growth last year, that boosted demand for both manufactured goods and commodities globally.

The total trade almost reached the pre-crisis level of RM1.183 trillion registered in 2008, said the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

In a statement here Wednesday, he said last year, exports expanded by 15.6 percent to RM639.43 billion while imports grew by 21.7 percent to RM529.19 billion with a trade surplus of RM110.23 billion.

For December, exports increased by 4.6 percent to RM57.16 billion compared to the same month of 2009.

This was the highest exports value ever recorded for that month, said the minister.

Imports, meanwhile, expanded by 11.5 percent to RM47.48 billion, resulting in a total trade of RM104.64 billion.

According to Mustapa, a trade surplus of RM9.69 billion was registered, making it the 158th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.

For 2010, he said, Malaysia's exports to almost all markets recorded positive growth.

He highlighted that significant increases in exports were seen to Egypt (58.1 percent), New Zealand (57.4 percent), the Philippines (43.7 percent), Bangladesh (43.2 percent), South Africa (40.7 percent), Taiwan (39.9 percent), Vietnam (39.7 percent), India (23.3 percent) and Japan (21.8 percent).

Singapore, China, Japan, the United States and Thailand remained the top five export destinations last year. Japan, however, registered the highest growth of 21.8 percent to RM66.29 billion.

Asean remained a major regional export destination with exports valued at RM162.45 billion, accounting for 25.4 percent of Malaysia's total exports.

In terms of export composition, manufactured goods accounted for the largest proportion with a share of 72.1 percent, while mining and agriculture accounted for 15.9 percent and 11.2 percent respectively.

Mustapa said the ministry through its agency, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), has realigned its export promotion strategies and programmes for 2011 by among others, promoting high value exports, intensifying the promotion of services and enhancing capacity building programmes.

In 2011, a total of 113 trade promotion activities, comprising trade fairs, specialised marketing missions, joint promotion activities and others will be undertaken.

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