Malaysia records rise in trade with US, EU despite pandemic

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KUALA LUMPUR: Bilateral trade between Malaysia and the United States, as well as with the European Union (EU), has seen an increase this year, the Dewan Negara was told today.


Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said this was despite the challenges faced by the countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The US and EU are Malaysia’s third and fourth largest trade partners (respectively), after China and Singapore.

“Bilateral trade between Malaysia and the US was recorded at RM165.22 billion (US$39.17 bilion) in 2019 and RM159.35 billion (US$38.48 billion) for the EU,” he said in reply to a question from Senator Datuk Zaiedi Suhaili.

Kamarudin said there was an improvement in trade performance with the US, recorded between January and July this year, at RM121.01 billion (27.1 per cent increase) and RM79.94 billion (26.66 per cent increase) with the EU, compared with the same period last year.

He said focus would be given to strategic and high-impact industries including tourism, electric and electronic (E&E); global services, aerospace, creative industry, halal industry, biomass and smart agriculture, in line with the recently announced 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).


Among the steps taken by the government to strengthen strategic cooperation and economy with the EU were Malaysia-EU Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (MEUPCA), Malaysia-EU Free Trade Agreement (MEUFTA), improve air and trade connectivity between Asean countries and EU; promoting Malaysia as a strategic investment and tourism location through Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the proposed reciprocal Covid-19 vaccine digital certification between Malaysia and the EU.

“In strengthening Malaysia-US’s comprehensive cooperation, among the steps to be taken by the government are inviting more US companies to move their operations to Malaysia, expanding collaborations in new fields such as the production and distribution of Covid-19 vaccine; renewable energy, green economy, digital commerce, cyber security, health tourism, robotics, aerospace and sustainable development.”

At the Asean level, he said the government was also exploring cooperation in digital technology with the US.

He said the government was committed in strengthening cooperation with its trade partners, with the International Trade and Industry Ministry and Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry leading the efforts.

He said Senior International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali is in Germany, France and the United Kingdom for a work visit, which ends on Friday.-NST