KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Malaysia’s trade performance will continue to be supported by the strengthening external demand and global trade, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) today.
Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said Malaysia is able to take advantage of the global technology upcycle as well as the higher commodity production and prices.
“The trade outlook, however, remains contingent on the path of the pandemic, both domestically and globally, as well as the re-imposition of tighter containment measures,” she told reporters after announcing Malaysia’s economic growth for the second quarter of 2021 virtually today.
Nor Shamsiah said Malaysia’s export had been resilient despite various containment measures since the beginning of 2021 and grew by about 30 per cent in the first half of 2021.
On foreign direct investments (FDI) and private investments outlook, she said BNM expects the FDI operating environment in the country to improve as the rapid progress in vaccinations produces positive outcomes, which would allow more economic sectors and activities to resume.
She added that the continued improvements in the external demand would benefit the export-oriented industries such as the electrical and electronics sector as well as primary-related manufacturing sector.
“Various structural reforms from the government such as the efforts to attract quality investments by pursuing the national investments aspirations as the basis for our investment strategies and efforts to digitalise the economy through the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint will also help investment moving forward,” said Nor Shamsiah.
She noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the containment measures have also affected the investment environment, both domestic and globally.
The pandemic has resulted in supply chain disruptions and halted business operations, which weakened FDI inflow, she said, noting that Malaysia was not excluded from global trends.
“However, at this juncture, critical economic sectors in Malaysia are still allowed to operate with standard operating procedures in place,” she added.
According to the Department of Statistics today, Malaysia’s FDI registered an inflow of RM8.2 billion for the second quarter of 2021, principally in the form of equity and investment fund shares.
Manufacturing remained the main sector for foreign investment in Malaysia, followed by financial and mining; particularly from Japan, Indonesia and the United States.
Concurrently, direct investment abroad registered an outflow of RM4.0 billion contributed by equity and investment fund shares.
Malaysian companies overseas were mostly engaged in the financial, manufacturing and information sectors while the top destinations were the United Kingdom, Indonesia and Canada.