Malaysian ports to benefit from US-China trade war
THE US-China trade war has benefitted ports in Malaysia, where greater cargo volumes have been recorded, particularly in Port Klang which is forecast to clock up double-digit growth in cargo handling this year
THE US-China trade war has benefitted ports in Malaysia, where greater cargo volumes have been recorded, particularly in Port Klang which is forecast to clock up double-digit growth in cargo handling this year.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the value of China-Malaysia trade is predicted to hit a 'record high' this year, after amounting to MYR238 billion (US$56.93 billion) in the first half of 2019, reported The Malaysian Reserve.
Speaking to reporters after the Fourth China-Malaysia Port Alliance (CMPA) annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Loke said: 'A lot of containers and some of the cargoes and goods are transported through Malaysia to other parts of the world.
'That's why the US-China trade war has indirectly benefitted Malaysia to a certain extent and we saw in Malaysian ports, especially Port Klang, there is a very marked increase and we're looking forward to strong growth in Malaysian ports.'
China has been Malaysia's top trading partner for the past decade. Exports to China grew by 10 per cent while China is Malaysia's largest import source, accounting for 20 per cent of the total imports in 2018.
Following the positive bilateral trade numbers seen in the first six months of the year, the total Malaysia-China trade for 2019 will be 'five per cent more than (last year's MYR314 billion),' Mr Loke was quoted as saying.
'We've recorded a 12 per cent growth in TEU at Port Klang for 1H 2019, so by year-end, we're projecting about 13.2 million TEU. That'll be about a 12 per cent growth over last year,' Mr Loke said.
He said Port Klang experienced less growth in 2017 due to rationalisation across the shipping industry, which led to many shipping companies leaving the port for other hubs.
'But over 2018 and this year, especially in 1H 2019, they've started to come back, partly because of the growth in the local economy, and also because there's a need for shipping lines to use Port Klang and Pelabuhan Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) as a secondary hub as well,' Mr Loke explained.
The government is seeking more investment from the private sector to facilitate the expansion of local port operations at Port Klang and PTP, as well as the free zone area at Port Klang and PTP.
Westports Holdings Bhd plans to invest up to MYR15 billion to double its container handling capacity to 30 million TEU by 2040, while PTP Sdn Bhd is working on expansion plans. The Port Klang Authority is also currently studying the feasibility of turning Carey Island into the third port at Port Klang.