Sunday, May 22, 2011

Malaysia exports up 7.8% in March

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia said Friday its exports, the mainstay of the country's economy, rose 7.8 percent year-on-year in March, as world trade picked up.The trade ministry said exports had reached 64.06 billion ringgit ($21.35 billion) while imports increased by 12.1 percent to hit 50.53 billion ringgit.Total trade for March saw an annual increase of 9.6 percent to 114.59 billion ringgit. The rise in exports was lower than that of February, which saw a 10.8 percent increase on the previous year.Eonomist Yeah Kim Leng said the slight drop on the previous month was all part of the pattern of global recovery."Following the global downturn export numbers were down as industries and exporters drew down on their inventories and as things improved in 2010, they rebuilt and restocked their inventories," he said."As we are now back to trend growth in 2011, it is not surprising that there are declines as last year's figures were high as a result of restocking inventories," Yeah added."The important thing is not the slight month to month declines but that the present figures are still very high compared to the same period last year."The export increases were mainly due to electrical and electronic products, palm oil, liquefied natural gas, chemicals and chemical products.Electrical and electronic items make up close to 40 percent of Malaysia's total exports to key markets such as Singapore, China, United States, Japan and Hong Kong.Although hit hard by the global economic slowdown, Southeast Asia's third-largest economy rebounded with an impressive 7.2 percent growth in 2010 and it is expected to grow five to six percent this year.Since taking power in 2009 premier Najib Razak has unveiled a series of economic reforms aimed at creating 3.3 million jobs and pushing the country towards developed nation status by 2020.Among his promises are major infrastructure projects and financial market liberalisation, which came with a vow to stimulate the private sector to attract much-needed foreign investment.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

what is forwarding agent ?

freight forwarderforwarder, or forwarding agent is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals or other companies and may also act as a carrier. A forwarder is often not active as a carrier and acts only as an agent, in other words as a third-party (non-asset-based) logistics provider that dispatches shipments via asset-based carriers and that books or otherwise arranges space for these shipments. Carrier types include shipsairplanestrucks, andrailroads.
Freight forwarders typically arrange cargo movement to an international destination. Also referred to as international freight forwarders, they have the expertise that allows them to prepare and process the documentation and perform related activities pertaining to international shipments. Some of the typical information reviewed by a freight forwarder is the commercial invoiceshipper's export declarationbill of lading and other documents required by the carrier or country of export,import, or transshipment. Much of this information is now processed in a paperless environment.
The FIATA short-hand description of the freight forwarder as the 'Architect of Transport' illustrates clearly the commercial position of the forwarder relative to his client. In Europe there are forwarders that specialise in 'niche' areas such as railfreight and collection and deliveries around a large port. The latter are called Hafen (port) Spediteure (Port Forwarders). A forwarder in some countries may sometimes deal only with domestic traffic and never handle international traffic.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Malaysia Keen To Work With Sweden On Promoting Innovation

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 (Bernama) -- Malaysia is keen to work with the Swedish government on its experience in promoting innovation, says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. 

He said in Sweden, there is a culture of innovation extending to all levels of society and for every 100,000 inhabitants of the country, there are 1,150 patents in force. 

"We certainly can learn from the Swedish because they have done well in this area. 

"They have gone through the innovation cycle and have a very good idea of what works and what doesn't," he said at the Sweden-Malaysia Innovation Day here Tuesday. 

"We are very impressed with Sweden. It is a small country but has managed to produce many well known companies," he added. 

Mustapa said he understands that the Special Innovation Unit (UNIK) under the Prime Minister's Department, will be closely following the Triple Helix model of innovation transfer successfully used in Sweden. 

The model emphasises the importance of interactions between universities, businesses and the public sector in contributing to innovation, he said. 

Meanwhile, the Director General of the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems(VINNOVA), Charlotte Brogen said Malaysia has plenty of opportunities to take innovation to the next level. 

She said Malaysia had taken a good step in promoting innovation with the establishment of UNIK. 

"We are pleased to cooperate with our Malaysian counterparts in exchanging ideas on how we work and stimulate innovation in society," she added. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Exercise is to streamline land transport industry

PETALING JAYA: The re-registration exercise of public service, goods and tourism vehi­cles by the newly-formed Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is aimed at streamlining and improving the land transport industry.

SPAD’s chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said the re-registration of the estimated 350,000 vehicles in peninsular Malaysia would regulate and make for a better industry.

“The ultimate objective of the exercise is to better regulate the industry and to improve the nation’s land transport for the benefit of the people,” he said.

He said the exercise would enable SPAD to identify the current status of licencees and identify inactive and “problematic” operators.

“The data will later be used for the process of migrating all licences to operator-based licences from the current vehicle-based system,” he added.

He said that 4,200 operators had re-registered with SPAD with the number expected to rise.

“I am confident that SPAD’s nationwide road shows will see more operators coming forward to re-register their licences before the deadline,” he said, adding that an Open Day would be held later this month for all operators.

SPAD has fixed Sept 30 as the deadline for re-registration.

SPAD became operational on Jan 31 following its establishment via the Land Public Transport Act 2010.

The body which assumed the functions of the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board is responsible for policies, planning and regulating all aspects of road and rail-based commercial vehicles

Friday, May 6, 2011

Malaysia exports beat forecasts

KUALALUMPUR: Exports surged at a faster pace than expected in March, on the back of stronger orders for electrical and electronics (E&E) products from Malaysia.

The impact of the March disaster in Japan was not felt in the first quarter of the year as expected.

Beating market expectations, it grew by 7.8 per cent year-on-year while imports rose by 12.1 per cent, resulting in a total trade of RM114.59 billion, with a trade surplus of RM13.52 billion.

Compared to February, exports increased by 23.7 per cent while imports rose by 28.9 per cent.

Credit Suisse economist Wu Kun Lung said electronic exports surged 22.8 per cent in March compared to February.

"In ringgit terms, electronics exports are now only about 4 per cent below the pre-crisis peak,"he commented.

"The bounce in March (E&E sector) was a positive sign, but we think it is too early to tell whether the trend will continue, as higher oil prices and the supply-chain disruptions caused by Japan's earthquake are likely to weigh on electronics exports in the second quarter."

Wu said commodities have remained the main driver of export growth in the past 18 months and in ringgit terms, they were almost back to the peak registered in July 2008.

MITI said exports to China breached the record value of RM7.98 billion registered in March 2010, with a rise of 19.4 per cent, contributed to mainly by higher exports of E&E products especially integrated circuits, and crude rubber.

Exports to the European Union (EU) registered an increase of 11.2 per cent to RM6.78 billion, due mainly to higher exports of palm oil, chemicals and chemical products,crude rubber and refined petroleum products.

Exports to Japan rose by 13.9 per cent to RM6.60 billion, attributed mainly to higher exports of crude petroleum, LNG, E&E products and palm oil.

In March 2011, exports to the US declined 9.4 per cent to RM5.22 billion from RM5.77 billion in March 2010, due mainly to lower exports of E&E products, machinery, appliances and parts as well as crude petroleum. 

Exports of palm oil to the US also registered an increase of 32.0 per cent from March 2010.

For the first quarter of the year, exports registered an increase of 3.5 per cent while imports contracted by 3.4 per cent, in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2010.

Going forward, Wu said external trade should remain on an upward trend for the rest of 2011.

"The disaster in Japan might cause some weakness in external trade in the second quarter, but we expect the impact to be temporary."

On the commodity front, we might see commodity exports weaken in the next few months following the recent drop in palm oil, rubber, and crude oil prices, but exports should improve with the recovery in the G3 (US, Europe and Japan) economies. 

Wellian Wiranto of HSBC Bank said while Malaysia's exports might come to see a softer patch in the coming months due to supply chain disruptions, yesterday's data also showed that Malaysia has some buffer in the form of commodities should help tide things over.


Singapore election 2011

Election 2011 is a tough one to call for a number of reasons and the public mood is unpredictable and capable of swinging either way.
HUNDREDS of family members enjoying their breakfast looked up in surprise as a thunderous applause broke out and everyone rushed towards five approaching figures.
They were opposition candidates who were campaigning in Aljunied, mingling with the crowd, signing autographs and posing for photographs.
The suburban quiet was broken by spontaneous shouts of “Workers’ Party”.
This is Election 2011, Singapore. In the midst of electioneering, every party is campaigning with gusto.
The noisy Aljunied reception is an indication of the intense feelings of many of its residents, whose ward remains an opposition hot spot capable of returning giant killers.
The importance of the election is not lost on the 2.2 million voters. Tens of thousands flock to rallies every night.
Singaporeans, who love a good wager, are busy working out the odds.
Many are betting on a significant erosion of public support for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), which has governed their city for 50 years.
What is giving the PAP and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong a headache is the rising public unhappiness emerging from the rallies and the Internet. If translated into votes, they’ll be in trouble.
The sentiment is obviously shared by the stock market. It nervously dropped 75 points in three days, fearing the PAP may fare worse than its representatives are prepared to reveal.
“If it loses two or three Group Representative Constituencies (each with four to six candidates) – say 15 seats – you can expect a knee-jerk fall of 100 to 200 points,” said a stockbroker.
Despite the 14.5% gross domestic product rise, this middle-class society is not feeling richer or happier individually.
Many are irked by the large foreign intake, which is depressing job opportunities and salary levels.
Twice in the same day, Lee apologised to the nation for mistakes made by his Government in past years.
“If we didn’t get it right, I’m sorry. But we will try better the next time,” he said.
Hsien Loong acknowledged that the building of the two casinos had caused side effects, such as gambling problems among the locals.
He also apologised over four other issues – the escape of terrorist Mas Selamat, the Orchard Road flooding as well as high home prices and overcrowded MRT trains – the last two resulting from the large intake of foreigners.
His apology contrasted with his father Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s threatening approach.
The senior Lee warned Aljunied voters they would have five years “to repent” if they voted for the opposition.
But Hsien Loong said: “I think you’ve got used to our style. We don’t try to do it MM’s style.
“We do it our way, we spend some time to talk, to explain … to overcome some of these working problems so that we can go in the right strategic directions.”
The PAP leader’s apology and the significant pressure exerted on him by a new crop of opposition politicians have virtually ended the PAP’s stranglehold on this island.
It was immediately echoed by another PAP candidate, Grace Fu, who said at a rally: “We’re humans, we make mistakes.”
The PAP rarely mouths such words.
The election will fill 82 of Parliament’s 87 seats. One five-member PAP GRC was won when the opposition turned up 35 seconds late.
So who will win what?
The present election, unlike previous ones, is a tough one to call for a number of reasons.
For one thing, it is heavily contested and involves a rich choice for voters.
There are many quality opposition candidates who are as good if not better than the ruling party’s, so making a reasoned opinion is hard.
At the same time, many are voting for the first time, either because they have just reached 21 years old or because walkovers had deprived them the chance for years, even decades.
Evaluating how they will vote is no easy thing.
There are also too many issues affecting people’s lives, and some of these are tearing into the hearts of unhappy PAP die-hards.
Many would probably stay loyal and continue to give the ruling party another five years of overwhelming mandate. The number of PAP loyalists and fence-sitters who will throw their support behind the opposition will be decisive.
It is not possible to use past yardsticks to assess the outcome of this election. The public mood is unpredictable, and capable of swinging one way or the other by a few per cent.
A few believe the PAP will win all except one seat, while others predict the opposition will win as many as 17 or 18 seats.
Aljunied, apparently will almost certainly go down in history as the first GRC to be won by the opposition. One or two more GRCs lost could signify a major defeat for the PAP – by its own standards.
That will lay the ground for the emergence of a two-party political system by 2016, with an opposition capable of taking over from the PAP.
How will the PAP react to a negative result in preparation for the next election?
Brig-Gen (NS) Tan Chuan Jin’s warning that the PAP’s moral authority to lead would take a hit if it failed to address public frustration and angst says a lot.
The PAP candidate (considered a core leader) admitted that voters were “troubled, angry even” over issues such as the fairness of the GRC system and the attacks on the opposition.
“We need to be more compassionate and less calculative,” said Tan

Record exports in March

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s exports reached a new high of RM64.06bil in March, up 7.8% from the same month last year, International Trade and Industry (Miti) Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said yesterday.

“The increase in exports in March 2011 of RM4.64bil from a year ago was largely contributed by higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, refined petroleum products, palm oil, crude rubber as well as chemicals and chemical products,” he said in a statement.

Compared with February, increases in exports were registered in all product sectors.

“However, the largest contributors to the increase were E&E products, palm oil, crude rubber, chemicals and chemical products, machinery, appliances and parts, manufactures of metal, liquefied natural gas (LNG), refined petroleum products, rubber products and crude petroleum,” Mustapa said.

On a month-on-month basis, exports in March increased by 23.7%. During the first quarter of 2011, total exports increased 3.5% to RM170.67bil compared with the fourth quarter of last year.

According to Miti statistics, China, Singapore, Japan, the US and Hong Kong were the top five export destinations, accounting for 50.9% of Malaysia’s total exports in March.

RAM Holdings Bhd group chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the exports figures were a surprise and above expectations, adding that he was optimistic about intra-regional exports going forward.

“Global demand, although still weak, won’t derail our exports,” he said.

According to Miti statistics, exports to Asean were valued at RM15.48bil in March, accounting for 24.2% of Malaysia’s total exports.

Yeah added that the weakening of the US dollar would “reshape the global pattern of demand.”

“(The weaker US dollar) will improve US exports and for countries that have seen their currencies appreciating, it would improve their exports.

“The weakening of the US dollar will also help boost their exports and strengthen domestic demand in Asian countries that have seen an appreciation in their currencies,” said Yeah.

The ringgit continued to hold steady and was hovering around RM3.01 per US$1 yesterday. The local currency hit a 13-year high when it dropped below the RM3 mark late last month.

Some economists expect it to hit RM2.93 against the dollar within six months.

Economists had previously told StarBiz that a strengthening ringgit would not pose a problem for exports so long as it rose in tandem with other currencies in the region.

Yeah also believes that the earthquake that hit Japan in March will not have a substantial impact on Malaysia’s exports to the country, going forward.

“Reconstruction efforts (in Japan) have begun and there is a demand (for commodities) for their reconstruction efforts,” he said.

Yeah added that the level of exports (for Malaysia) in the second of quarter of 2011 was expected to maintain, underpinned by continued strong global commodity demand.

Meanwhile, imports in March rose by 12.1% to RM50.53bil, resulting in a total trade of RM114.59bil, up 9.6% from a year ago.

A trade surplus of RM13.52bil was registered, making it the 161th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997, according to Miti.

On a month-on-month basis, imports rose by 28.9% and total trade expanded by 25.9%.

During the first quarter, imports contracted 3.4% to RM134.59bil compared with the fourth quarter of last year while total trade increased by 0.4% to RM305.26bil.

Compared with the first quarter of 2010, exports and imports in the first quarter of 2011 were higher by 7.5% and 12.4% respectively, while total trade increased by 9.6%.

Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd economist Wan Suhaimie Saidi said domestic demand would “hold up” in light of the good trade numbers.

“Judging from the import numbers, domestic demand is supporting growth. We believe gross domestic product could grow by 4% in the first half of the year,” he said.

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