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KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 (Bernama) — The services sector will contribute 60 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020, making it a major contributor to Malaysia’s economy, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

Currently, the services sector accounts for 55 per cent of the country’s GDP.

“We have less than six years to achieve this. We need to do something radical to invigorate the services sector. It has done well, growing faster than other sectors but that is not enough,” he told reporters after Malaysia Services Development Council 1/2014 meeting here Thursday.

Also present at the meeting were Pemandu (Performance Management & Delivery Unit) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala and representatives from the various ministries, agencies and services industries association.

Mustapa said the council was briefed, among others, on the progress of the services sector liberalisation initiative at the Asean level as well as presentation on the logistics industry.

“We’re monitoring the progress and considering to do an impact study on capacity building, investment and work force usage after the sector liberalisation.

“We also want to know whether our companies managed to penetrate other markets or still having difficulties,” he said.

Mustapa said efforts were also being undertaken to intensify promotion of services with higher export potential that include oil and gas, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), creative design, electrical manufacturing services and ICT (information and communications technology) services.

A total of 147 trade promotion activities have been planned for 2014 with 45 programmes focusing on services sectors targeting traditional and new growth markets.

In 2013, contribution from the services exports to Malaysia’s total exports of goods and services was 15.4 per cent or RM125.47 billion compared with 14.3 per cent or RM117.01 in the previous year.

Meanwhile, Mustapa said Asean had completed negotiations on the Ninth Package of Asean Framework Agreement of Services (Afas), which would be signed during the 46th Asean Economic Ministerial Meeting in August.

Under the Ninth Package, Malaysia offers 102 sub-sectors for liberalisation.

The final 10th Package negotiation is targeted for completion and signing by end-2015.

MALAYSIA exported US$10 billion (RM32.3 billion) worth of halal products last year with the food and beverage sector accounting to  about 40 per cent of these exports, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

The top three markets for the country’s halal products were China, which imported between RM5 billion and RM6 billion, Singapore, RM3 billion, and the United States, RM1 billion.

Mustapa said the encouraging figures suggested significant prospects for food companies seeking to create a stronger foothold in the global halal market.

He said multinational company, Nestle Malaysia, is now the halal centre of excellence for Nestle worldwide, adding that Malaysia is now seeing a number of new investments in the halal industry, which include Cargill, Kewpie, Coca Cola and Kelloggs.

In his speech at the World Halal Week 2014, here, yesterday, he said Malaysia is now keenly exploring the potential of other areas, including non-food sectors such as cosmetics, personal care products and pharmaceuticals.

“This is a high value-added industry and has strong links with other industries here such as the oleo chemicals industry,” he said.

Last year, Malaysia exported a total of US$615 million worth of halal cosmetics and personal care products compared with US$515 million in 2012, he added.

Speaking to reporters later, Halal Development Corp chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin, said this year, some RM1.5 billion worth of investments in halal products are expected to be pumped in by foreign companies operating in Malaysia.

“The companies are from Japan, an European country and from China,” he said, adding that these companies are still in talks with the relevant Malaysian authorities while checking the sites for their investments and the incentives Malaysia is offering.

Jamil said one of the companies is keen to set up a trade centre here, which involves buying halal products and exporting them.

He said to date, the halal industry has received investments worth RM14 billion, of which RM8 billion was invested in the Halal Parks located around the country.

Eksport Malaysia meningkat 12.3 peratus kepada RM58.91 bilion pada Februari tahun ini berbanding bulan yang sama tahun lalu.

Import pula meningkat 9.5 peratus kepada RM48.48 bilion, kata Kementerian Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri dalam satu kenyataan yang dikeluarkan pada Jumaat.

MITI berkata, negara mencatat peningkatan lebihan dagangan sebanyak 27.2 peratus kepada RM10.44 bilion pada Februari.

Pada bulan dikaji juga, jumlah perdagangan Malaysia meningkat 11 peratus kepada RM107.39 bilion berbanding bulan yang sama tahun lalu, didorong pertumbuhan lebih tinggi dalam eksport berbanding import.

Perdagangan yang tinggi dicatatkan dengan Singapura meningkat RM2.28 bilion, China (RM1.73 bilion), Jepun (RM1.2 bilion), Arab Saudi (RM919.1 juta), Taiwan (RM793.8 juta), Jerman (RM760.6 juta), Emiriyah Arab Bersatu (RM742.5 juta) dan Amerika Syarikat (RM726.7 juta).

Negara ASEAN

Eksport ke negara ASEAN meningkat 5.7 peratus kepada RM15.97 bilion, menyumbang 27.1 peratus daripada jumlah eksport Malaysia pada Februari.
Pada bulan dikaji, eksport ke Amerika Syarikat (AS) meningkat 8.4 peratus kepada RM4.53 bilion, disumbangkan barangan elektrik dan elektronik terutamanya kelengkapan telekomunikasi dan alat ganti serta kimia dan bahan kimia.

Dalam tempoh dua bulan pertama tahun 2014, eksport Malaysia meningkat 12.3 peratus kepada RM122.89 bilion, manakala import berkembang sebanyak 8.3 peratus kepada RM106.09 bilion.

Lebihan dagangan dalam tempoh itu adalah sebanyak RM16.79 bilion.

Peningkatan dalam perdagangan dicatatkan dengan China melonjak 14.2 peratus, Jepun (10.1 peratus), Kesatuan Eropah (7.6 peratus), AS (7.1 peratus) dan ASEAN (1.7 peratus).

Negara lain yang mencatatkan peningkatan perdagangan dengan Malaysia ialah Australia (naik 29.5 peratus), Hong Kong (33.9 peratus), Emiriah Arab Bersatu (35.2 peratus), Taiwan (18.4 peratus) dan Korea Selatan (12.8 peratus peratus).

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 (Bernama) — The Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputera (TUBE) programme is expected to begin in July, said SME Corp Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Datuk Habsah Hashim.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Saturday announced the allocation of RM10 million for the programme, which is aimed at helping young Bumiputeras to start a business.

Habsah said the programme is still at the discussion stage, and expressed hope that the plans could be finalised soon.

TUBE is managed by SME Corp and the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI), and involves three phases before the participants are given a RM15,000 launching grant.

Habsah said the first phase is about character building through physical and mental training, while phase two is a workshop on business fundamentals and the final phase covers business implementation.

“We will start the programme when the funds are received and after the completion of discussions with the National Service Training Department (PLKN), Human Resources Ministry and local universities,” she said after the closing of the Young Bumiputera Enterpreneurs Congress here today.

Habsah said the first phase of TUBE is planned to be held at PLKN camps.

Participants should be 18 and over, comprising graduates, school leavers, staff of the Youth and Sports Ministry as well as youths already in business, and an announcement will be made when the online application forms are ready, she added.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 (Bernama) — Russia is seeking to build greater business collaboration with both the government and private sector in Malaysia.

Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Likhachev said the areas of collaboration sought includes transportation, infrastructure development and banking.

“Malaysia is well equipped with high technology in research development as well and offers a lot of other business opportunities.

“We also hope to see more Malaysian companies coming to Russia and establishing a presence there, even as we look at expanding our own businesses here,” he told the media at the opening of the Russia-Malaysia Business Forum, here Wednesday.

The one-day forum, organised by the Asean-Russia Business Council and Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, is aimed at strengthening the economies of both countries, while sustaining growth amid the challenging environment.

There are also business matching sessions scheduled for during the event.

Likhachev said the current areas of investments with Malaysia are food manufacturing, tobacco and beverages and machinery.

Malaysia’s total trade with Russia charted an increase of 66.6 per cent to US$1.8 billion (RM5.7 billion) last year, against US$1.1 billion (RM3.4 billion) in 2012.

Total exports to Russia amounted to US635.5 million (RM2 billion), while imports from the Federation stood at US$1.1 billion (RM3.7 billion).

Meanwhile, Miti Deputy Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri said he hoped the forum would have a positive impact on Malaysia’s growth in terms of total trade.

“While, the Russians are expanding their market here, Malaysia should also look into tapping business opportunities in that country, especially in the halal industry as there is Muslim population there.

“This forum can thus be a platform for local companies to penetrate Russia via the halal food market and also Islamic finance, even as Malaysia works towards becoming the global halal champion,” he added.

According to Hamim, Malaysia is seeking to increase trade with Russia in the aerospace, electrical and electronics, medical and pharmaceutical fields.

On pharmaceuticals, companies from both nations are currently working on a five-year project to produce a dengue vaccine, a first in the world. The pharmaceutical plant for the RM250 million project is located in Pahang.

The project will begin with research and development, construction design, product design and formulation, as well as pre-clinical studies on rodents at institutes in Russia.

During this period, Malaysian scientists will participate via an exchange programme to acquire knowledge and technology.

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