KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Malaysia is looking at reducing its trade imbalance with Vietnam, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Malaysia would like to see the trade grow in size but with more imports by Malaysia from Vietnam in order to reduce the imbalance of trade between our two countries.,” he said at a joint press conference with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi today.
Dr Mahathir arrived in Hanoi on Monday night for a three-day official visit to the socialist republic at the invitation of his counterpart.
Dr Mahathir said during the visit, the leaders of both countries have agreed to make use of Asean’s strength to grow their economies and also to tackle problems facing the region and the world.
In January-June 2019, Malaysia’s trade with Asean contracted by 1.9 per cent to RM239.43 billion compared with the same period in 2018, according to data by the International Trade and Industry Ministry.
Exports to this region grew by 1.6 per cent to RM139.39 billion, driven by higher exports of electrical and electronics, iron and steel products, liquefied natural gas, petroleum condensates and other petroleum oil, as well as optical and scientific equipment.
Imports, however, were down by 6.4 per cent to RM100.05 billion during the first half of the year.
The last time Dr Mahathir embarked on a working visit to Vietnam was in 1998 to attend the Asean Summit, and both countries have established diplomatic ties since 1973. — Bernama