Malaysia-Thailand trade up 17pc in first half of 2018

9 August 2018 – The Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — Trade volume between Malaysia and Thailand grew 17 per cent in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2017, mostly through border trade activities, said a Thai official.

Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) Director-General Chantira Jimreivat Vivatrat said this positive growth was fast approaching this year’s target growth of 18 per cent. Trade between Thailand and Malaysia amounted to US$21.9 billion (US$1=RM4.07), a 7.4 per cent increase from 2016.

“Border trade is due to the closeness (proximity) between the two countries. It’s because Malaysia has very good logistics too,” she told Bernama after launching the Top Thai Brands 2018 event organised by DITP here, today. Chantira said among the sectors that contributed the most to the growth was the industrial sector such as electronics and automotive parts, adding that Thailand was looking at new sectors such as e-commerce.

She said Thailand’s export to Malaysia in 2017 amounted to US$10.3 billion, while the country’s import from Malaysia was US$11.6 billion. Malaysia was an important partner to Thailand, especially so as both countries are members of Asean, she added.

Currently, Malaysia is ranked fourth as Thailand’s import source after China, Japan and the US. Malaysia is at sixth place as Thailand’s export destination after China, the US, Japan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. Chantira said she believed that the Top Thai Brands 2018 event from today until Aug 12 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre would help to increase trade volume between Malaysia and Thailand to US$30 billion as was decided during a Joint Trade Committee meeting in 2015. — Bernama