Malaysia’s exports spike on the back of pandemic-related demand

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Photo taken on March 7, 2021 shows a container terminal of Lianyungang Port, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Photo by Wang Jianmin/People's Daily Online)
Container terminal (Photo by Wang Jianmin/People's Daily Online)

dpa/GNA – Malaysia’s exports grew by 17.6 per cent year-on-year in February, due to continuing demand driven by the coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions.

Electrical and electronic goods, along with rubber-based products, were the main contributors, the Department of Statistics said on Monday, listing China, Singapore and the US as the three biggest export markets.

The Ministry for Trade and Industry said that electronics exports were up due to “higher demand of semiconductors for smart devices, 5G network as well as automotive industry as the global economic activities continued to recover.”

Global demand for computers and so-called smart devices has surged due to work-from-home rules related to the pandemic.

Malaysian rubber gloves factories have, during the past year, ramped up production to meet growing demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses.

The factories, which supply around 65 per cent of the world’s rubber gloves, have complained that the government’s border closure has hampered recruitment and have faced several coronavirus outbreaks among mostly foreign-born workers.

On Monday, Malaysia’s daily virus case numbers fell below 1,000 for the first time since December 9, the Health Ministry said.

The government imposed a state of emergency and second lockdown in January after daily case numbers surged around the turn of the year, becoming Asia’s highest per capita.

The border has been shut since a first lockdown was imposed in March 2020. Malaysia’s economy contracted by 5.6 per cent last year, the most since 1998, with much of the damage done during the first lockdown.

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