KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 (Bernama) — The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) is committed to this year’s trade and investment forecasts despite global economic uncertainties, Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Friday.
“Our forcasts remain the same as far as 2013 is concern. We have to work harder to achieve the set targets and to ensure growth in this country,” he told a media briefing.
He said the ministry would be focusing more to boost trade following a slower growth in the sector over the past two months due to external factors.
“We will also step up efforts to enhance the country’s competitive position in terms of ranking to attract more quality investments.
“We want to create better employment opportunities which will only come from quality investments,” said Mustapa, who was reappointed to the portfolio in the new cabinet line-up.
Malaysia’s trade is projected to grow by four to five per cent this year. Total trade stood at RM1.31 trillion last year from RM1.27 trillion in 2011.
Investment growth in domestic and foreign direct investments (FDIs) are expected to be maintained above 20 per cent this year. It grew 24.8 per cent last year to RM139.5 billion.
On another matter, Mustapa gave an assurance that the promise made by the Barisan Nasional (BN) in its general election manifesto to reduce car prices in stages would be implemented.
“We will study the relevant action programmes to reduce car prices,” he said.
The minister said his ministry had a momentous task to implement various programmes following radical changes in the country’s economic and political landscape which had impacted its functions.
“More attention will also be given to Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
Mustapa said transparency in his ministry’s administration would be stepped up to improve the people’s trust and confidence in government administration and to respond promptly to issues raised.
Also present at the briefing were newly appointed Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Hamim Samuri and ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria.