Deputy minister: No import-export activities with China halted so far over coronavirus outbreak

Ong also reminded the public that the virus is not transmitted via contact with inanimate objects. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Ong also reminded the public that the virus is not transmitted via contact with inanimate objects. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Malaysia’s import and export activities with China continue as usual and no trading activities have been halted so far due to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming said.

He said the government is currently discussing and coordinating very closely with the industries, especially those in the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector that have the most links with the global value chain that includes China.

“Remember that whatever inanimate objects that are imported into the country do not transmit the disease. You will not get the virus by touching the goods,” he told reporters after launching the World Bank’s World Development Report 2020 here today.

Ong said it is still early to tell the impact of the outbreak on Malaysia’s economic growth but if there is, it would not be reflected in the first-quarter gross domestic product.

In terms of production in China, he said in these two weeks, many of the factories were either closed or running at a very low capacity due to Chinese New Year holidays.

In the short term, Ong does not foresee much negative impact towards Malaysia’s economy.

“For a longer term, we really have to depend on how the situation is managed in China. We hope for a speedy resolution to this (coronavirus) issue so that the global value chain will not get disrupted too much,” he added.

Another coronavirus case was confirmed today, bringing the total number of infections in Malaysia to eight. — Bernama

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