• Malaysian Economy to Sustain Growth Momentum In Second Half 2017
  • Maybank Revised Malaysia’s GDP Upward
  • Johor Can be Gateway for Xinjiang in ASEAN Halal Market
  • Halfest ASEAN 2017 To Woo Visitors, Entreprenuers With Impactful Programmes
  • Fair Tax Treatment in ASEAN Capital Market Crucial
  • China’s growing middle class lose appetite for instant noodles, preferring healthier meals ordered online

Malaysian Economy to Sustain Growth Momentum In Second Half 2017, Maybank Revised GDP Upward
Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani is confident the Malaysian economy should sustain its growth momentum in the second half of the year, barring any major global setbacks. He said the government had not revised the 2017 Gross Domestic Products from the original forecast of 4.3 per cent to 4.8 per cent, but based on the growth of 5.6 per cent and 5.8 per cent recorded for the first and second quarters, the forecast could be surpassed. “Growth in the first half of 2017 was driven by private consumption and private investments on the demand side. On the supply side, the thrust was by the services construction and manufacturing sectors.

Meanwhile, Maybank Investment Bank has revised its upward growth forecast for Malaysia’s GDP in 2017 to between 5.3 per cent and 5.5 per cent from 4.2 per cent recorded last year, on improving key economic fundamentals and macroeconomic conditions. It said the bank was improving the ‘big picture’ this year and had upgraded the 2017-2018 GDP growth forecast to 5.5 per cent from 5.1 per cent previously, mainly on firmer domestic demand growth as net external demand was expected to be a drag rather than a driver of growth, although less than previously projected. “The upward revision is mainly on account of faster growth forecast for manufacturing (to +5.6 per cent from +5.0 per cent) and services (to +5.9 per cent from +5.8 per cent) on the supply side, and the higher growth of consumer spending (to +6.7 per cent from +6.4 per cent), private investment (to +9.4 per cent from +8.7 per cent) as well as exports (to +8.5 per cent from +7.8 per cent),” it said in a note today. The investment bank said it expected the above five per cent growth momentum to be sustained in 2018, albeit, at a slightly slower pace of 5.1 per cent (+4.9 per cent previously).

Johor, Gateway For Xinjiang In ASEAN Halal Market
Johor can become the gateway for Xinjiang-based companies to penetrate the lucrative ASEAN halal market. Johor Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee Chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said the state’s strategic location to neighbouring Singapore, gave the state a competitive edge and offered vast opportunities within and beyond the shores. “Apart from that, we already have a good infrastructure in place, as well as, recognised Halal certification especially from member countries of the Organisation Islamic Countries,” he said. Currently, Asean offered a massive market of 600 million people and a majority of the population were Muslims. Datuk Tee is currently leading a 11-member delegation, comprising representatives, among others, from the Johor State Investment Centre , Johor Tourism and Johore Islamic Council, on a trade mission to China’s Autonomous Region of Xinjiang and Gansu.

Halfest ASEAN 2017 To Woo Visitors, Entreprenuers With Impactful Programmes
The Halal Fiesta ASEAN (Halfest ASEAN) 2017 is expected to woo both visitors and entrepreneurs to its impactful programmes, as well as, innovative and quality products and services to be showcased, says Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin. He said the five-day event, to kick off on Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur would present a new line of strategic partners namely the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (TERAJU), with the aim of enhancing Bumiputera engagement in this potentially large-scale industry, and also Starbucks Malaysia which would share its quality and branding strategies.

Halfest ASEAN 2017 is an integrated trade and consumer expo for halal products and services, a platform for entrepreneurs, especially small and medium enterprises to promote their products and services while strengthening trade relations within the retail industry in Malaysia and the ASEAN region.

Fair Tax Treatment In ASEAN Capital Market Crucial
Meanwhile, CIMB Group Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak (pic) said a fair tax treatment in the ASEAN capital market is pivotal to spur intra-ASEAN capital flow. As an example, he said in accessing government Bhat and corporate bonds in Thailand’s capital market, Malaysian investors would be imposed capital tax gains while Singaporean and Korean investors were exempted, he said, adding that Singaporean investors were also exempted from taxes on Indonesian Rupiah government bonds, while Malaysian and Korean investors were slapped with the tax. “Shouldn’t we have a rule where all ASEAN investors are subject to the minimum level of taxation that will be applied by each country” “ASEAN countries should receive the best in class tax treatment in all capital market across ASEAN,” he said.

China’s growing middle class lose appetite for instant noodles, preferring healthier meals ordered online
China’s appetite for instant noodles is shrinking sharply, as a growing middle class pursue a healthier diet. The rise of food delivery smartphone apps also gives consumers access to quick, easy and inexpensive meals with higher quality. As the personal disposable income of Chinese consumers has more than doubled in the past decade, consumption for instant noodles, or “convenient noodles” in Chinese, has plunged. China’s demand for instant noodles declined 17 per cent to 38.5 billion servings in 2016, from 46.2 billion servings in 2013, according to statistics from the World Instant Noodles Association. Uni-President, which supplies more than a fifth of China’s instant noodles and tea drinks, recently reported a 27 per cent decline in net profit for the first half. Revenues have decreased for a fourth straight year since 2013, down 7 per cent in the first six months.