Editor’s Picks: 4 Aug 2017

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MITI Urged Private Sector to Play Greater Role to Exploit Regions’ Untapped Potentials
International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad has called on the private sectors in ASEAN and India to play a greater role to exploit the regions’ huge untapped potentials. “India has done very well, growing at 7.5 per cent annually in recent years while average growth in ASEAN reached five per cent. So there are huge potentials and I fully support efforts to explore and complement the fast-growing economy of ASEAN and India,” he said. Datuk Seri Mustapa said ASEAN and India had experienced good economic growth, thus representing huge opportunities for their private sectors.

Over 53,000 online businesses registered with SSM as of July 10
As many as 53,285 online businesses have been registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) as of July 10. Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Deputy Minister, Datuk Henry Sum Agong (pic) said, SSM had organised the SSM-One Carnival (Online Networking Entrepreneurs) nationwide to encourage compliance with business registration and introduction to online businesses which include businesses, corporations and limited liability partnerships.  “At the ministry level, we offer incentives in the form of digital entrepreneurship to small online businesses that focus on aspects of education and skills.

Malaysia’s Trade Surplus Widens to RM9.88 Bln, Exports Up 10 Pct
Malaysia’s export growth continued to outpace import, with June 2017 trade surplus at RM9.88 billion, marking the 236th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997 and the highest surplus since April 2016. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry said exports in June 2017 showed a stronger year-on-year growth than imports for the second straight month. “Exports expanded by 10 per cent to RM73.07 billion while imports grew by 3.7 per cent to RM63.19 billion. “Trade surplus in June of RM9.88 billion was the highest value of trade surplus since April 2016,” said MITI.

The ministry said Malaysia’s total trade for the month increased by 7.0 per cent to RM136.26 billion, up from RM127.38 billion recorded in June 2016. Expansion was supported mainly by trade with China, India, Japan, the European Union, ASEAN, the United States, Taiwan and South Korea.

Trade With ASEAN Up 2.6 Pct In June 2017
Trade with ASEAN grew by 2.6 per cent to RM36.29 billion, accounting for 26.6 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade in June 2017 compared to June 2016. The Ministry International Trade and Industry (said exports expanded by 1.9 per cent to RM20.36 billion, while imports rose by 3.6 per cent to RM15.93 billion year-on-year. The increase in exports were attributed to higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, transport equipment, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as rubber products. Among the major markets within ASEAN, exports to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines recorded an increase. On a month-on-month basis, MITI said the total trade, exports and imports with ASEAN declined by 14 per cent, 15.6 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

SMEs can now cash out funds in their PayPal Accounts to a MasterCard Debit Card
MASTERCARD and PayPal have announced an extension of their partnership into Asia Pacific to enhance the consumer experience and make Mastercard a clear payment option within PayPal. The deal will expand PayPal’s presence at the point of sale and enable Masterpass for Braintree merchants in the region. Additionally, both companies will collaborate to create opportunities to leverage on Mastercard’s new payment flow technologies, providing increased value to Mastercard cardholders, financial institutions, and PayPal customers. PayPal will also have the opportunity to give consumers and small businesses across Asia Pacific the ability to cash out funds held in their PayPal accounts to a Mastercard debit card.

Australia’s central bank upbeat on economy as consumers splurge
Australia’s central bank is more confident that economic growth will accelerate over the next two years, but expects little improvement in unemployment or wage growth, suggesting official interest rates are on hold for some time. In its statement on monetary policy, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) forecast the A$1.7 trillion (US$1.4 trillion) economy will grow “above potential” at around 3% over the next couple of years. Supporting the RBA’s upbeat view, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed retailers enjoyed sales growth of 1.5% in April to June, their best quarter in four years. That means growth in broader consumer spending almost certainly rebounded from the first quarter’s tepid 0.5%.

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