ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
January 20, 2008
In a development which surprised not only German and Singaporean experts but also Malaysians themselves, Malaysia has overtaken Singapore as the leading Asean exporting nation to Germany.
Two-way German-Malaysian trade surged by 22 percent in the first three quarters of 2007, and in the process, Malaysia even overtook Singapore which has for years been the dominating exporting nation to Germany, according to the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) office in Cologne.
Matrade said its assessment was based on figures provided by the European Statistics Office (Eurostats).
According to Eurostats, Malaysia's exports reached US$3.5 billion while those of Singapore amounted to US$2.5 billion and Indonesia US$2.65 billion. In effect, Malaysia became the world's 33rd major exporting nation to Germany while Indonesia was ranked 37th and Singapore 38th.
Malaysia has been able to increase its exports like rubber, footwear, furniture and wood products.
"Our exports of electrical and electronic products have also increased because these items are needed for German finished electrical and electronic products whose exports have gone up. In other words, the more Germany exports electronic and electrical products to Malaysia, the more it will buy electronic and electric parts and components for such products," said Raja Badrul in an interview with Bernama at the just-concluded prestigious home-textile show Heimtextil in Frankfurt.
Like others, Raja Badrul was also struck by the conspicuously low participation by Malaysian companies --there was only one exhibitor -- at Heimtextil compared to the huge exhibitor contingents from other Asian countries.
"Participating in trade fairs is an effective way to promote your exports. Trade fairs have veritably become marketing tools for many exporters who not only get visibility but also benefit from exposure to the latest trends, product designs and level of technological development of your competitors," Raja Badrul said.
"If they don't avail of such opportunities, Malaysia's industries could be left behind," he said.
According to the Matrade office in Cologne, Malaysia will be participating in seven trade fairs in Germany this year.
"We are also organising a trade mission of manufacturers of auto components to Germany. The mission will be here, probably in September," Raja Badrul said.
"Later, we will have a business mission headed by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz who will visit Dusseldorf in October," he said.
During his next visit to Malaysia, Raja Badrul will call on the textile industry representatives and urge them to participate in the Heimtextil show.
The Malaysian trade commissioner also recruits exhibitors and buyers from European countries to visit Malaysia for business reasons.
He recently organised the visits of buyers from Latvia to participate in the Intrade general trade fair in Kuala Lumpur.
"We will send more buyers from other countries to Malaysia this year," he said.