Malaysia’s total trade is forecast to grow 5-6 percent in 2014, the Malaysian News Agency Bernama reported.

Of the figure, exports are expected to rise 3-4 percent and imports, 8 percent which are supported by the improving overall global economic outlook,

The country’s exports in 2013 grew by 2.4 percent year-on-year to 719.81 billion RM, while imports saw a growth of 7 percent to 649.19 billion RM, with total trade rising 4.6 percent to 1.37 trillion RM (1 USD = 3.3 RM), International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed told reporters and diplomats on February 7.

Exports to ASEAN markets led the growth, accounting for 28 percent of total exports.

Higher exports were also contributed by the higher imports by free trade agreement partners such as Australia, China, the Republic of Korea, Chile and New Zealand.

China remained the country’s top trading partner for the fifth consecutive year. In 2013, Malaysia's trade with China expanded by 12.5 percent to 203.23 billion RM.

Trade with the EU increased by 6.3 percent to 135.79 billion RM.

Major export items last year were electric and electronic products, medical devices, manufactures of metal, chemicals and chemical products as well as machinery, appliances and spare parts.
Meanwhile, main import products were for manufacturing goods, such as refined petroleum products and transport equipment.

The minister said that imports did grow faster than exports, but it was not a concern as Malaysia was still a trade-surplus country of 70.63 billion RM – the 16th consecutive year of surplus./.