Mohd Uzir said there was 'a persistent negative trend' in travel services since 2020 as Malaysian borders remained closed to tourist arrivals, causing the highest deficit in services trade. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — Malaysia recorded its highest trade deficit in services which widened to RM60.7 billion against a RM47.2 billion deficit in 2020 due to lower inbound travel, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) said.
Presenting DoSM’s Statistics of International Trade In Services (SITS) 2021 today, chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the COVID-19 pandemic impacted services trade severely.
“Exports of services recorded RM86.7 billion compared to RM93.0 billion in the previous year. Meanwhile, imports of services rose by 5.2 per cent to RM147.5 billion from RM140.1 billion in 2020,” he said in a statement.
Mohd Uzir said there was “a persistent negative trend” in travel services since 2020 as Malaysian borders remained closed to tourist arrivals, causing the highest deficit in services trade.
Other business services which integrated with digital technology saw the least negative impact throughout the pandemic, recorded an export value of RM27.1 billion in 2021 against RM27.3 billion a year ago.
Imports grew by 4.0 per cent year-on-year to RM30.9 billion but there was a RM3.9 billion deficit in this type of services.
Meanwhile, manufacturing services saw a trade surplus of RM14.1 billion in 2021, the highest in the past decade.
US was the top destination for Malaysia’s services exports and imports, valued at RM26.6 billion and RM32.1 billion, with a 7.0 per cent and 1.8 per cent year-on-year increase, respectively.
Malaysia exported mainly manufacturing services and other business services to the US, whereas imported mostly travel and other business services.
Singapore, the second largest destination for Malaysia’s services trade, recorded RM19.5 billion in exports and RM23.1 billion in imports, constituting primarily other business services, transport and telecommunications, computer and information.
Malaysia’s third largest country for exports was the United Kingdom at RM6.3 billion, while for imports it was China at RM15.1 billion. — Bernama