KUALA LUMPUR: Intra-Asean trade is expected to grow to 30% of total trade by 2020 as the region now has all the ingredients as a great trading hub, says Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) chief executive officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud.
He said trade among Asean, which currently hovered around 24%, was expected to increase to 30% of their total trade by 2020, driven by Asean Economic Community (AEC) initiatives.
Asean had successfully eliminated many trade barriers and the share of trade among member countries should grow further as their economies continue to develop, he said.
“Asean has all it takes to become a great trading hub.
“We have zero duty, good banking and urbanisation rate, as well as improved infrastructure and rising productivity,” Dzulkifli told Bernama on the sideline of the agency’s Hari Raya open house.
Asean economies continued to register economic growth and with greater Asean economic integration, guided by the AEC framework, the 30% intra-Asean trade was highly possible, he said.
Intra-Asean’s share of total trade stood at US$608.63bil or 24.2% as at July 2014 from a total trade of US$2.51 trillion recorded in the same period compared with US$458.1bil registered in 2008 when the AEC Blueprint was first implemented.
“With a population of over 600 million, larger than either the European Union or North America, our potential market is huge.
“As the AEC is scheduled to be in place, intra-Asean trade is set to benefit from it,” said Dzulkifli. — Bernama
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