Steady growth momentum of Malaysia's global trade in 2023

International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz attributed this to the opening of borders by China, which translated to better economic growth not just for Malaysia but other economies as well. STR / FAIZ ANUAR

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 5): Malaysia is positive on the outlook if its trade this year, although it will still depend on the global economy, said International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He attributed this to the opening of borders by China, which translated to better economic growth not just for Malaysia but other economies as well.

"One aspect that we have to take into account is the opening of China. This will help lessen some of the disruption in the supply chain.

"China is one of Malaysia's largest trading partners, so we will definitely stand to benefit along with other global economies," he said.

Tengku Zafrul believes that the country is capable of achieving the estimated economic growth of four per cent announced by Bank Negara Malaysia.

Besides that, the ministry aims to have a greater focus on the electric vehicle (EV) industry moving forward.

Tengku Zafrul said the EV industry had high potential for rapid growth, and his ministry had put forward to the Ministry of Finance certain suggestions to help Malaysia leverage this growth.

Although he declined to specify the suggestions for the time being, Tengku Zafrul said in future, there would be better incentives for EVs which would be beneficial for both the consumers and the industries.

"I think the industry players have put forth their suggestions, which I feel would be very beneficial for our nation, our people and our economy.

"So, I hope the Ministry of Finance would consider these suggestions from the industry players as well as MITI," he said after the signing of a joint venture between Computer Forms Malaysia Bhd (CFM) and Energy Absolute Thailand.

Malaysia aims to attract more EV investments to meet the national target of 15 per cent total industry volume (TIV) for EVs and hybrid vehicles by 2030, and 38 per cent TIV by 2040, as well as the goal to have 10,000 public charging stations by 2025.

Meanwhile, CFM will set up a manufacturing plant for EV vehicles, and aligned with this, Energy Absolute will be transferring innovation, renewable energy (RE) experience and carbon credit to the government in line with its Net Zero goal by 2050.

Tengku Zafrul believes the combination of renewable energy and greening public transportation will encourage inclusive economic growth that will benefit both Thailand and Malaysia.

"Global analysts have projected the global EV and RE sectors combined to be in excess of US$1 trillion by 2028.

"As such, there are numerous opportunities for companies to enter this space and capitalise on the growing appetite for ESG-based products and services by consumers, as well as ESG-focused technology and assets by investors," he said.

The company formed under the JV, Energy Absolute Malaysia, will be making business investments with CFM Malaysia, with the joint investments driven by new teams from both nations to integrate clean energy and mobility solutions to help corporations decarbonise effectively.

CFM managing director Datuk Wira Justin Lim said the company and Energy Absolute plannrf to produce lithium-ion batteries as well as invest in energy storage systems and charging stations in order to support Malaysia's EV ecosystem.

The signing ceremony seals the RM5 billion investment pledge to set up a Malaysian manufacturing plant by the JV company to handle EV and RE projects using the core competencies of both listed companies.

Source: New Straits Times

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