Trade Within IMT-GT Expected to Hit US$5b Next Year

TRADE within member states and provinces of the Indonesia-
Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) could reach US$5 billion
(RM18.1 billion) by next year.

IMT-GT Joint Business Council
(JBC) Malaysia chairman Datuk Faudzi Noh said an Asian Development Bank
(ADB) survey estimates the current IMT-GT intra-trade at US$3.8 billion
(RM13.76 billion), with the biggest contributors being agriculture
products, spare parts, and services such as medical and healthcare.

“With a population of about 70 million, the IMT-GT provides a
self-sufficient and large market opportunity for businessmen in this
regional growth area,” he said at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur
yesterday on the upcoming 26th IMT-GT JBC meeting which will be held in
Penang from December 4 to 5.

Faudzi said he is confident that
the IMT-GT will meet the target total trade of US$5 billion despite the
global economic downturn and political uncertainties in Thailand.

“The three largest producers of natural rubber and oil palm are in the
IMT-GT. Thailand is also recognised as one of the largest seafood

“There is huge potential even in the halal
industry. The three countries now contribute only three per cent to the
halal market. We feel that there are tremendous opportunities for our
entrepreneurs,” he said.

Faudzi said ADB has identified about
100 potential programmes and projects requiring capital investments of
between US$15 billion and US$20 billion (RM54.3 billion and RM72.4
billion) that could be undertaken over a 10-year period in the IMT-GT

He said the IMT-GT JBC meeting will further deliberate on these potential projects as well as the source of funding.

“The meeting serves as a platform for participating members to
strengthen cooperation to increase trade and investment in the region,”
he said.

Established in 1993, the IMT-GT comprises the whole
of Sumatra in Indonesia; all states in Peninsular Malaysia, except
Johor, Pahang and Terengganu; and the 14 provinces in southern