KUCHING: The Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) recently reported that albeit the ongoing global economic turmoil, China still remains Malaysia’s largest Asean country trade partner.
“In 2012, China continues to be our largest trading partner. A feat that we have maintained since 2009,” director of China trade and services promotion division of Matrade, Ong Yew Chee highlighted during the recent China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) Kuching leg roadshow.
He added optimistically that he hoped this achievement and strong bilateral trade ties would remain so for a long time in the future as China was an important market for Malaysia.
To note, in 2012, Malaysia’s total trade to China amounted to RM180.6 billion, an increase of 13 per cent compared with the previous year.
However, Ong noted Malaysia’s trade with China had been slightly unbalanced as exports to China had seen a decline to RM88.75 billion compared with 2011 at RM91.25 billion while Malaysia’s import to China increased to RM91.86 billion compared with the previous year which was at RM75.61 billion.
“The lower exports to China were due mainly to the declining price of commodities which in turn affects the prices of exports,” he said, noting that prices such as palm oil and rubber had undergone changes such as reduction in prices which had affected the exports to other countries.
He further pointed out, “our lower exports to China pose a great challenge to all of us, especially to Malaysian exporters. And therefore, we need to increase promotional activities and increase our exports to China to balance the trade between our two countries.”