KUALA LUMPUR: ASEAN’S total trade growth this year is likely to exceed that of the global average by 2-3 per cent, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

Last year, average global trade grew by 5.9 per cent.

“ASEAN is a growing market. We believe, with the accelerated growth of ASEAN economies relative to others in the world, its trade growth is going to be higher than the global average,” he added.

Mustapa told a press conference this after opening the Asian Business Forum 2015 here today.

On investment, Mustapa said ASEAN would gradually increase its market share of the global foreign direct investment (FDI) flow to between 11-12 per cent from the current 10 per cent.

Total FDI drawn by ASEAN in 2013 was at US$122.38 billion, of which US$21.32 billion came from investments within ASEAN members.

For Malaysia, the minister said the momentum of the local trade growth would move in tandem with ASEAN, mostly at three per cent.

“Malaysia is expected to see more investment coming from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this year, given the improvement in our business landscape and continuous economy stability,” said Mustapa.

Earlier, in his speech, Mustapa said 2015 is an important year for Malaysia given its chairmanship of ASEAN, and the country would focus on enhancing awareness of the regional grouping to the general public.

He added Malaysia would also increase its investment figures by addressing the opportunities and challenges that are part of ASEAN. — BERNAMA