Trade between Malaysia and US, EU rises amid pandemic

Meanwhile, total amount obtained from Awas compound payments was RM9.8m from Sept 1, 2018, until Sept 30, 2021


THE trade value between Malaysia and the US, as well as the European Union (EU), increased from January until July this year compared to the same period last year amid the pandemic.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar told the Dewan Negara yesterday that the trade value between Malaysia and the US rose 27.1% to RM121.01 billion within the period, while the value with the EU rose 26.66% to RM79.94 billion.

In 2019, Malaysia’s trade value with the US stood at RM165.22 billion, while with the EU it recorded a value of RM159.35 billion.

“The government is committed in strengthening the cooperation between Malaysia and both countries along with other ministries such as the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) and Tourism, Arts and Cultural Ministry to ensure trade between Malaysia and the US, as well as the EU, continues to increase although the world is still battling Covid-19 and declining economic situation.

“MITI’s senior minister is currently visiting Germany, France and the UK for this purpose, and his visits will end on Oct 22, 2021,” he said in response to a query from Senator Datuk Zaiedi Suhaili yesterday.

In line with the 12th Malaysia Plan which was recently announced, Kamarudin said focus will be given to strategic and high impact industries including tourism, electric and electronic, global services, aerospace, creative industry, halal industry and smart farming.

Among the government’s efforts to strengthen ties with the EU include signing the Malaysia-EU Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation, promoting Malaysia as a strategic investment and tourism location under regional ties at the Asia-Europe Meeting level, and proposing the recognition of the Covid-19 reciprocal vaccination certificate between both parties.

The government will also consider resuming negotiations on the Malaysia-EU Free Trade Agreement and improving air connectivity as well as trade between both regions via the Asean-EU ties.

To reinforce ties with the US, the government will encourage more US companies to relocate their business operations into the country, as well as widen cooperation in other areas such as the production and distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, renewable energy, digital trade and cyber security.

The government will also explore possible cooperation with the US on digital technology at the Asean level.

Meanwhile, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Henry Sum Agong said the total amount obtained from compound payments out of Automated Awareness Safety System (Awas) was RM9.76 million from Sept 1, 2018, until Sept 30, 2021.

“Enforcement activities via the system are still running based on the method and standard operating guidelines set by the Road Transport Department (JPJ),” he said in a response to a question from senator Datuk Wira Othman Aziz.

He added that the Automated Enforcement System was rebranded to Awas since 2016 to raise awareness among drivers on the traffic rules for the benefit of all road users.

As of Sept 1, 2018, all of the operations, development and enforcement under Awas has been taken over by the Transport Ministry via JPJ.