KUALA LUMPUR: China remains Malaysia's largest trading partner for 10 consecutive years, with trade growing 8.1 per cent to RM313.8 billion last year.
This, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industries (MITI), constituted 16.7 per cent of Malaysia's total trade.
Exports to China expanded by 10.3 per cent to RM138.88 billion, thanks to higher exports of chemicals and chemical products, electrical and electronics (E&E) products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), manufacturers of metal, optical and scientific equipment, transport equipment and processed food.
China is also Malaysia’s largest import source, accounting for 19.9 per cent share of total imports in 2018.
On the other side of the coin, trade with the United States (US) recorded a growth of 1.1 per cent to RM155.68 billion, or 8.3 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade.
Exports to the US rose 2.3 per cent to RM90.73 billion, the highest since 2008.
Imports from the US decreased slightly 0.5 per cent to RM64.94 billion, with the main imports being E&E products, machinery, equipment and parts as well as chemicals and chemical products.
Asean remains an important and strategic trading partner for Malaysia, accounting for 27.1 per cent or RM509.2 billion the total trade, an increase of 4.7 per cent from 2017.
Within Asean, Singapore remained the largest export market with a share of 48.8 per cent, or RM139.12 billion of total exports. This was due to higher exports of E&E products and petroleum related products namely crude petroleum and petroleum products.