KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 – Malaysia expects to record a five per cent growth in trade this year, amidst the global economic uncertainty, says Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Its Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said the figure was slightly higher compared with the four per cent forecast for the whole of 2012.
“The growth in trade will increase but only slightly. The figure is for the current period as it is still too early to project.
“Nevertheless, we (MITI) will always monitor this growth,” he said after the annual dialogue session with chemical and petrochemical industry players today.
Meanwhile, Mustapa said the chemical and petrochemical industry will continue to register positive growth this year, driven by the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) projects such as in Pengerang, Kerteh and Kuantan.
However, he said intense competition from other Asean countries and China would be an obstacle for local players.
“MITI will have in-depth discussions with industry players to understand the forms of competition and the ways to ease that competition,” he said.
He added that MITI had projected the industry to contribute some RM130 billion to the country’s Gross National Income (GNI) towards 2020 from RM20 billion to-date.
“MITI’s objective for six-fold expansion is difficult to achieve if they are faced with competition that could jeopardise the GNI growth,” he said.
For the third quarter of 2012, the chemical and petrochemical industry contributed 7.3 per cent to Gross Domestic Product with investment totalling RM12.9 billion in the first nine months of last year. – Bernama