KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said a rebound in exports of commodities and the electronics & electrical products will help spur the manufacturing sector.
Speaking at the opening of the 19th Asia oil and gas conference, the Prime Minister said gross exports were expected to accelerate at a faster pace of 2.7% this year due to this.
"The economy continues to thrive despite headwinds. Last year, we recorded a GDP growth and the economy is expected to grow between 4.3% and 4.8% this year supported by healthy domestic demand and robust private sector investment," he said.
Najib also noted that the recent US$7bil investment by Saudi Aramco in Petroliam Nasional Bhd's (Petronas) Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) will make it the single largest foreign investor into the country.
To recap, Malaysia's exports for March 2017 surged to RM82.63bil – exceeding the RM80bil mark for the first time – underpinned by manufactured, mining and agricultural products.
Exports rose 24.1% from a year ago, exceeding economists forecast of a 20% increase.
Exports of manufactured goods jumped 22.1% to RM67.26bil. This segment accounts for 81.4% of total exports in March. The increase was attributed to higher exports of E&E products, especially electronic integrated circuits.