(File pix) Malaysia's 2016 trade performance recorded a positive trade balance of RM88.15 billion for the 19th consecutive year with total trade volume of RM1.49 trillion, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's 2016 trade performance recorded a positive trade balance of RM88.15 billion for the 19th consecutive year with total trade volume of RM1.49 trillion, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan said exports totaled RM785.9 billion while imports numbered RM698.6 billion.

"From January to August this year, total exports of oil, gas, rubber, palm oil and electronic products was 60.1 per cent or RM370.84 billion.

"This is an increase of 26.1 per cent compared to the RM294.12 billion recorded in the same period in 2016. This clearly shows that the country's exports have a high potential to empower economic growth.”

"The production of high value-added products is crucial to strengthen the development and competitiveness of the industry globally," he said.

Ahmad was replying to a question from Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin (BN - Rompin) who had asked the ministry to state Malaysia's export per centage overseas which is still dependent on traditional commodities such as oil and gas, rubber, palm oil and electronics.

He also asked what were the government's measures to promote exports of higher value.

Reports by: FARHANA SYED NOKMAN, VEENA BABULAL and FERNANDO FONG

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