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Strong global demand to sustain Malaysia's exports

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 (Bernama) -- Rising global demand is forecast to support strong export growth in Malaysia, leading the nation to a bright future, says the latest HSBC Global Connections Report.

Trade flows into Malaysia are expected to strengthen with respondents holding a broadly positive outlook over the next six months, according to HSBC's Trade Confidence Index (TCI) survey.

The outlook for trade remains broadly positive, despite a decline in the TCI which fell three points to 110 in first half of 2014.

"Many businesses are anticipating a pick-up in new orders as global demand accelerates," according to the biannual report.

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd Head of Global Trade and Receivable Finance Vincent Sugianto said despite short-term concerns, the business environment in Malaysia has improved dramatically.

"This is illustrated by the significant rise in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Survey, which increased by six places to sixth in the 2014 edition.

"With the global demand poised to accelerate in the near future, a stable and competitive business environment should boost foreign direct investment and provide a strong base from which Malaysian businesses can expand into other fast-growing emerging markets," he said at a media briefing on the survey today.

Over the longer term, demand for Malaysia's exports should remain strong and the country's focus on Asia is set to continue, he said.

"China overtook Singapore as Malaysia's largest export market in 2013, a position it will solidify with export growth in excess of 12 per cent per annum expected until 2030," Sugianto cited the bank's forecast.

Meanwhile, in its special sectorial focus, the report also outlines that Malaysia's energy exports are expected to grow by 5.3 per cent per annum from 2014 to 2030 as the country continues to strengthen its position as a major international hub for oil and gas production.

HSBC Malaysia Head of Project Finance Michael Cooper said Malaysia is a strategic location with a rich supply of oil and natural gas.

"As energy demands continue to rise both within Asia and globally, Malaysia will be able to take advantage of this to continue solidifying its position in the global energy market," he said.

The HSBC TCI survey, conducted in 23 markets, comprises six-month views of 5,200 exporters, importers and traders. The fieldwork was conducted between May and July 2014.


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