• Proposal to Amend GST Act 2014 To Be Tabled In Parliament
  • Customs Department To Be Corporatised By January
  • Malaysia on track to achieve the fiscal deficit target of three per cent for 2017
  • Malaysia’s Labour Force Participation Rate Falls 0.1 percent In July
  • SIE 2017 Garners Deals Worth RM200 Million
  • Mainland buyers could substantially push up demand for Hong Kong housing

Proposal to Amend GST Act 2014 To Be Tabled In Parliament
The Goods and Services Tax Act 2014 will be amended to enable the government to collect billions of Ringgit in taxes from foreign companies operating in Malaysia under the digital economy. Custom Department Director-General, Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy (pic) said the proposal for the amendment would be tabled when Parliament reconvenes next month. “The biggest loss in the digital economy is the business-to-consumer transaction. The company providing the business is overseas and in sending direct to the consumer here, they may get their payment immediately, while the service is not taxed. “That is discrimination towards local players who are taxed,” he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur. He said among businesses in Malaysia’s digital economy that enjoyed tax-exemptions currently were software developers and well-known social media platforms.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary General, Tan Sri Dr Mohamad Irwan Serigar Abdullah said the Customs Department may be corporatised by January next year, after a delay due to implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). “It’s in the process as we speak. By January 2018, I hope we will have a corporatised Customs Department,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tan Sri Irwan said Malaysia was on track to achieve the fiscal deficit target of three per cent for 2017, amid the robust economic growth recorded in the first half of the year. “Next year, we will go even lower and hopefully one day, have a balanced budget,” he added. Malaysia’s gross domestic product grew at 5.8 per cent during the second quarter of this year, outperforming market expectations of 5.4 per cent year-on-year. It was mainly supported by private consumption which grew by 3.8 per cent, followed by investments at 1.1 per cent. The national economy expanded by 5.6 per cent during the first quarter, bringing the average growth to 5.7 per cent for the first half of this year.

Malaysia’s Labour Force Participation Rate Falls 0.1 percent In July
Malaysia’s labour force participation rate fell by 0.1 per cent year-on-year to 67.7 per cent, or 15.02 million in July 2017. The Department of Statistics said on a month-to-month basis, the rate also declined by 0.1 per cent, while the unemployment rate stood at 3.5 per cent, a 0.1 per cent increase compared to June 2017.

SIE 2017 Garners Deals Worth RM200 Million
The four-day Selangor International Expo (SIE) recorded deals worth about RM200 million compared with RM112 million in the SIE 2016. State Permanent Committee on Investment, Industrial and Trade, Small and Medium Industry, and Transportation Chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim said he expected the value of the deals to eventually exceed RM200 million. “This increase reflects investor confidence in Selangor’s potential as a trading hub in the country,” he said. Datuk Teng said the SIE 2017 attracted about 15,000 visitors compared with 10,000 previously. “The SIE 2017 has achieved the number of visitors targeted and the SIE 2018 set for September next year will be held on a larger scale,” he said. The annual exhibition is aimed at turning Selangor into a business and trading hub, especially in the ASEAN region, as well as attracting global trade community, including from China, West Asia and Europe.

Mainland buyers could substantially push up demand for Hong Kong housing
Demand for Hong Kong homes could surge by 10 per cent if 1 per cent of the transaction value of new homes in tier one cities in China were to redirect towards Hong Kong, said Nicole Wong, managing director of property research at CLSA. In 2016, the value of new flats sold in tier one cities in China amounted to HK$1.8 trillion (US$230.36 billion), while new homes sold in Hong Kong totalled HK$190 billion, according to statistics compiled by CLSA using data from CEIC Data and Midland Realty. Of the 613 cities in mainland China, only Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing and Guangzhou are classified as tier one. Wong also said the increasing number of mainlanders getting right of abode in Hong Kong could potentially create strong user demand for Hong Kong property.