Matrade: Trade with EU not affected by palm oil issue

The trade issue between Malaysia and the European Union (EU) over palm oil will not affect other forms of exports to the EU. — AFP pic
The trade issue between Malaysia and the European Union (EU) over palm oil will not affect other forms of exports to the EU. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The trade issue between Malaysia and the European Union (EU) over palm oil will not affect other forms of exports to the EU, says the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).

Chief executive officer Datuk Wan Latiff Wan Musa said electrical and electronics (E&E) exports to the EU have remained steady.

“The only export that is affected is palm oil and other sectors so far have not shown any negative effect,” he said in a press conference today on the upcoming International Sourcing Programme (INSP) at SEMICON South-east Asia.

According to Matrade’s data, trade with the EU in February 2019 decreased by 5.7 per cent year-on-year to RM13.35 billion or 10.9 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade.

Exports to the EU recorded a growth of 3.7 per cent to RM7.68 billion, attributable to higher exports of manufactured goods primarily E&E products, manufactures of metal, machinery, equipment and parts as well as palm oil-based manufactured products.

From the overall trade, compared with February last year, exports of E&E products  increased by 4.9 per cent valued at RM25.81 billion, which constituted 38.8 per cent of total exports.

“Among the top 10 EU markets which accounted for 89.7 per cent of Malaysia’s total exports to the EU were Spain, which recorded an increase of 78.4 per cent, Ireland (180.1 per cent), Italy (28.2 per cent), Germany (1.1 per cent), France (3.6 per cent) and the Czech Republic (2.5 per cent),” he said.

Wan Latiff added that Malaysia’s strength in the E&E sector, especially as the region’s top player, is expected to grow at a steady pace despite the global slowdown, with the adoption of smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

“I believe that we will be able to have a stronger footprint in the industry and the E&E sector will continue to play an important role in Malaysia’s economy.

“By 2020, the industry is expected to generate an additional gross national income of RM53.4 billion and create 157,000 new jobs,” he said.

Meanwhile, SEMI South-east Asia president Ng Kai Fai said despite a softening in the global market, the local E&E sector’s revenue is expected to reach RM490 billion this year compared with RM470 billion last year.

“As the industry continues to grow as technology becomes more advanced from time to time, industry players need to upskill themselves and adopt the latest technology to capture market share,” he said.

INSP at SEMICON South-east Asia, themed “Think Smart Make Smart” and to be held at MITEC from May 7-9, is expected to capture RM150 million worth of sales as it will be attended by buyers and 9,000 delegates from China, South Korea, Singapore, the United States of America as well as the United Arab Emirates. — Bernama

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