Malaysia’s total trade value is forecast to grow by 131% in the second quarter (Q2) of 2026 from Q2 this year, according to HSBC’s Global Connections report.
The report also indicates that confidence levels stabilise as outlook on the future of trade remains positive.
HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd managing director (commercial banking) Andy Grisdale said in a statement: “We are encouraged to see optimism among Malaysian traders in spite of the current economic uncertainty and global market pressures. The research findings suggest that Malaysia continues to be a key market with strong trade performance prospects, with intra-regional trade underpinning the country’s cross-border activities.”
HSBC said the country’s trade growth was expected to be 5.2% over the next five years (from 2012 to 2016), before accelerating to 7.4% from 2017 to 2021 and then flattening out to 4.6% over the 2022-2026 period.
It also expected that Malaysia’s growth would be higher than the average for the world throughout the period.
Trade within the Asia-Pacific region dominates Malaysia’s import and export summaries.
It said that Singapore and China led, with Singapore ahead in terms of exports. However, the position reversed when looking at size of imports, with China supplying a significant amount of goods to Malaysian traders, it added.
Trade corridors for Malaysia are expected to be strongest in Asia led by China, Singapore and Japan.
“Trade growth with Singapore is expected to be solid at around 4%. China represents the strongest export growth market with 9% projected over the next five years, while imports are expected to grow more slowly at around 4.7%,” it said.
On emerging trade corridors, HSBC said the fastest growth in Malaysian exports was expected to be to Egypt and Bangladesh, with both forecast to see growth of above 11% over the next five years.
Meanwhile, the six-monthly HSBC Trade Confidence Index (TCI) finds that confidence among businesses in Malaysia with international operations continued to be stable, with the indexed score rising to 111 from 106 in the second half of 2011.
According to the TCI, a high majority (82%) of importers and exporters expect trade volumes to remain at current levels. Supporting the trade forecast findings, traders surveyed saw Asia Pacific intra-regional trade underpinning cross-border activity for Malaysia.