Malaysia’s external trade surpassed RM2t in 2021


MALAYSIA’S external trade has surpassed RM2 trillion for the first time in 2021 which recorded the fastest growth since 1994.

Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the trade posted another milestone last year despite the challenges faced.

“Despite the challenges faced, the Malaysian business community remained resilient following strong global demand which led to resurgence in trade activities.

“The external trade in 2021 improved, registering historic performance with trade, exports, imports and trade surplus reaching an all-time high,” Azmin said in a statement on Friday.

He said that the country’s exports valued at RM1.24 trillion have achieved 99% of the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) export projection for 2025, four years ahead of the target.

“Trade surplus was posted for 24 consecutive years since 1998. These remarkable achievements were driven by robust external demand and higher commodity prices,” he said.

According to him, among the major export trading partners are namely ASEAN, China, the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) with new high strong double-digit expansion.

“Meanwhile, exports to Japan recovered with a double-digit growth after declining for three consecutive years,” he noted.

Other significant export expansion was also registered to Costa Rica, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and Iraq.

Additionally, exports to free trade agreement (FTA) partners showed an upward trajectory with a new high value after two consecutive years of contraction.

“Exports of manufactured, agriculture and mining sectors registered double-digit expansion with manufactured goods reaching RM1 trillion mark for the first time,” he added.

Notably, he said the resilient growth was boosted by strong exports of electrical and electronics (E&E).

He also said that Malaysia’s solid trade performance was in tandem with other countries in the region such as Indonesia, Taiwan, China, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Thailand and Singapore which are also recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Moving ahead, Malaysia’s trade growth is anticipated to sustain its positive momentum underpinned by continuous demand for E&E and commodity-based products,” he further said.

However, Azmin opined that global economic uncertainties due to the emergence of new Covid-19 variants and disruptions in the supply chain may impact trade performance.