By P PREM KUMAR & DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By TMR
The government has identified 12 strategic sectors which can elevate Malaysia’s exports, diverting from its previous reliance on traditional export industries.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan (picture) said the National Export Council has identified the 12 sectors which could increase Malaysia’s exports of high value-added products.
The 12 strategic sectors are electrical and electronics; machines and equipment; petrochemical; automotive and components; medical device; palm oil; agro business related to the services sectors such as tourism, medical tourism, construction services, information and communications technology, and education.
“The exports of value-added goods will continue to be driven by the demand of developed countries,” Ahmad told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
He was responding to Rompin MP Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin, who had asked the government to state efforts taken to divert Malaysia’s reliance on traditional export items.
Malaysia’s traditional export sectors include oil, gas, rubber, palm oil, and electrical and electronics.
Ahmad said the traditional export industries contributed RM370.84 billion, or 60.1%, of total trade between January and August 2017.
“It was an increase of 26.1% compared to RM294.12 billion recorded in the same period of 2016,” he said.
Ahmad said that via the 11th Malaysia Plan, the government has implemented various programmes and initiatives to move the Malaysian manufacturing sector towards a higher value chain.
Among the strategies is to shift the manufacturing sector to ensure production of high-value, more complex and diverse products.
“For a start, the government has identified three catalyst subsectors, namely electrical and electronics; machinery and equipment; and chemicals; as well as two industries with high growth potential — aerospace and medical devices,” he said.
Last year, Malaysia’s total trade stood at RM1.49 trillion with exports making up RM785.9 billion, while imports were at RM698.6 billion.
The country also recorded a positive trade balance of RM88.15 billion for the 19th consecutive year.