KUALA LUMPUR – The government is increasing its focus on the services sector exports in an effort to diversify Malaysia’s trade portfolio.
International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said the ministry would be more aggressive in encouraging the growth of the services sector, especially in the creative industry.
He said the Malaysian creative industry boasted of highly-skilled artists who had produced internationally-recognised products, such as “Upin and Ipin” and “Ejen Ali”.
“We have to look at exports in the services sector from a wider context.
“Although the creative media are quite small, we have products such as Upin and Ipin which are known in Indonesia and several other countries,” he told reporters after launching MITI’s 2016 Annual Report here today.
Also present was Second Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
Aside from the creative industry, Mustapa said, several other industries in the services sector also had great growth potential, such as legal services and construction services.
“We are still importing legal services, we can source some of it from outside the country, but if there is a huge imbalance between imports and exports of legal services, this means that we have to strengthen our legal services capabilities to be at par with those in other countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mustapa said, the trade growth target would be at five per cent this year on the back of geopolitical challenges and volatility in oil prices.
“Given all these uncertainties, we are maintaining the forecast of five per cent growth in trade.
“Although it has been more than 20 per cent in the first four months, this is no guarantee this will be sustained,” he said. – BERNAMA